Lions leg-spinner Nqaba Peter has ‘all the skills and tricks’ to emulate the greats

Young Lions leg-spinner Nqabayomzi Peter is making waves in South African cricket.

Young Lions leg-spinner Nqabayomzi Peter is making waves in South African cricket.

Published Apr 23, 2024


Lions captain Bjorn Fortuin says South African leg-spin sensation Nqaba Peter has a bright future after playing a starring role in the team’s march to the CSA T20 Challange semi-finals.

The 21-year-old Peter has taken 16 wickets in nine matches during the competition, with a best return of 4/7 against Western Province.

The Eastern Cape-born spinner will again be in action on Wednesday in the first semi-final, when the Lions take on their Gauteng neighbours the Titans at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

“He has been very, very important for us, coming into the business end of the competition,” left-arm spinner Fortuin said.

“He has got all the skills and the tricks. Obviously he is still young and has got a lot to learn, but that comes with experience and playing time.

“He has got a bright future. There is nothing really stopping him from emulating some of the game’s greats.”

The Lions are looking to win their second title of campaign after finishing the gruelling round-robin stage on top of the standings with 10 wins from their 14 matches.

Earlier this season the Lions clinched the Four-Day series trophy after beating Western Province in the final.

However, they are playing a Titans unit who have started to come good towards the end of the competition, winning three matches in a row to qualify for the semi-finals.

“Two win a second trophy, we have to get through this match and then try and win the final,” Fortuin said.

“There is still a lot of cricket to be played if everything goes to plan. There is a lot of happening, but when tomorrow (Wednesday) comes, it’s just about ball by ball and play by play.

“We won’t be taking anything for granted. The Titans are a gun side and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another tense affair them.”

The two matches between the two teams have certainly been very close, with the encounters going down to the last ball on both occasions.

The Lions won their home match by one run, before the Titans returned the favour with a two-wicket victory in Centurion in the return match.

“The Lions have a very strong squad this season with a lot of Proteas players and we are going to have to be at our best,” said Titans captain Neil Brand.

“We have had two last ball finishes against the Lions in the T20 competition this season, so I’m pretty sure tomorrow will be another nail-biter.”

The Titans are going into the match with much-needed momentum, winning their last three matches, which includes a six-wicket thumping of WP in a virtual quarter-final at Newlands on Sunday.

“Hopefully we are peaking at the right time. We have won three in a row now. Anyone of the top six teams could have qualified for the semi-final,” Brand said.

“But we have been approaching all our games like a final and I think it’s brought the best out of all of us.

“There were some tough times in this competition ... we lost a few tight games. So we were under pressure for about six games to go, but we drew on the experience of our top players to pull us through.”