Bavuma delighted as Lions end season with double

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Highveld Lions captain Temba Bavuma was thrilled to have helped his team secure the CSA T20 Challenge title on Sunday, after they beat the Warriors in a thrilling final in Johannesburg.

The Proteas Test batsman showed another side to his game by recording his maiden 20-over century and first ever in the history of a final as the hosts won by 11 runs.

There was also a valiant ton by opposition captain Jon-Jon Smuts as the Lions went on to clinch the double after they also won the 4-Day Domestic Series title earlier in the season.

Bavuma was thrilled afterwards. He paid special tribute to coach Enoch Nkwe for turning around the fortunes of Gauteng Cricket.

After a poor campaign in the past, the Lions replaced Geoffrey Toyana with a man that had no experience as a head coach at Franchise level and it was a risk that has produced wonderful results.

After winning the double, the union also won the Africa T20 Cup, while Nkwe was at the helm for the Jozi Stars as they claimed the inaugural Mzansi Super League title in December. Bavuma paid tribute to the former player.

Bavuma was one of a few key players for his side in the final. He was aided by Rassie van der Dussen’s 73 off 41 balls, a competition record partnership, while there were also four wickets later in the game by Bjorn Fortuin that played a key hand in the outcome.

Bavuma’s effort, though, was one that impressed everyone, especially coming from a player not renowned for his white-ball exploits.

And he was happy to silence the doubters at the Bullring.

Bavuma exploded with emotion upon reaching his maiden ton. And he revealed that his celebration afterward was a release of everything that was being held within him over the type of player he was and perceived to be.

Meanwhile, Warriors captain Smuts was bitterly disappointed to have ended on the losing side.

He singlehandedly had kept the Eastern Cape franchise in the game with his third career ton.

This after his side had slumped to 56 for 5 at one point during the chase, before he dragged them back into the contest.

Smuts paid tribute to the Lions for the win and also cited inexperience in big games as one of the deciding factors in Johannesburg. – Report by Thahir Asmal