All-roudner Dwaine Pretorius has enjoyed two memorable weekends of Sunfoil Series action for the Highveld Lions. First he starred with the bat to deny the Cape Cobras what looked a certain win, before claiming six wickets with the ball to help the Johannesburg side secure an unlikely victory over the Knights this past weekend. Those results have kept the Lions right in the title mix as they look to defend the crown they won last season.
The 26-year-old admits the win this past weekend in Kimberley, which came inside three days, was a huge surprise: ‘I arrived on day three thinking we are not going to bowl and will probably bat all day. But there we were bowling before lunch and got a few wickets and it was all over just after tea, so it was a real roller coaster. I’m just glad we were the ones that pulled off the win.’ The Lions started day three on 18 without loss, before themselves being bowled out for 94.
That left the Knights needing 138 to win, but they were rolled over for just 92 with Pretorius picking up 3/37. He says they always had belief that they could defend such a low total: ‘We thought it would be possible, I mean 140 on that wicket, it was going to be tough. But because we had them 50 for five in the first innings, we had that belief.’ The result came a week after the same player and the Lions tail helped their side escape with an epic draw in Paarl.
Pretorius, who made 101, says: ‘Last week was crazy. We decided to keep fighting and not give them an easy win. You never know when those extra points will come in handy. I’m just really proud of the hundred I scored there, I’ve not scored too many, so that was right up there. But after I got out, we still needed the tail and I think they did excellently in the circumstances.’ The Lions meet the Titans in a top-of-the-table clash this week.