Last month’s Sizzler prize winner Kagiso Rabada (pictured) stormed to the top of the Sunfoil Series wicket-taking charts as the Highveld Lions put the Warriors on the back foot on a rain-shortened first day in Johannesburg. Although the weather wiped out the first session, Rabada’s four-wicket haul ensured that the bizhub Highveld Lions made excellent progress on the day, reducing the Warriors to 193/8 in the 63 overs that were possible. An initial six-over spell from Rabada yielded two wickets and left the visitors 30/3 from 11 overs after they had been inserted by the Lions, while a later spell brought another brace and sparked a second Chevrolet Warriors collapse.
The only bright patch for the Warriors came in between those spells, as Colin Ackermann (50) and Colin Ingram (39) exercised impressive patience in rebuilding the innings, putting on 70 for the fourth wicket in 28 overs. Rabada crushed that revival when he had Ingram caught behind by Dominic Hendricks, who took the gloves in the absence of the injured Thami Tsolekile, and then trapped Darryl Brown lbw four overs later. Chris Morris (2/43) and Dwaine Pretorius struck two further blows for the Lions, before Simon Harmer (35 not out) and Sisanda Magala (12 not out) kept the innings going until bad light halted play.
Rabada ended the day with figures of 4/39 to take his season tally to 38 wickets – three more than Dane Paterson and Andrew Birch, with three days of the season still to be played.