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Before taking the new ball at the Wanderers on Wednesday morning, the last time Dane Paterson had bowled was in Hamilton, two weeks ago.

The difference in outcomes for the veteran seamer was almost as wide as the body of water which separates the highveld and “sheep country” in New Zealand.

From bowling 22 wicketless overs in the second innings at Seddon Park against the Black Caps a fortnight ago, Paterson experienced the joy of snaring a 21st first class five-wicket haul, on a pitch offering more assistance against a Lions team that doesn’t contain a batter of Kane Williamson’s class.

Not that Paterson, a player with well over a decade’s worth of experience needed it, but here was a reminder of the chasm-like divide between the provincial game and Test cricket.

Besides the pitch, which had a neat grass covering, there was also the overhead conditions to aid Western Province, which led to the officials turning on the lights at the time the two captains went to toss.

Kyle Verreynne admitted he wasn’t sure what he would do, but seeing the lights on motivated his decision to bowl. Thank goodness for that too, Paterson would have thought. He and Beuran Hendricks used the new ball superbly in those helpful conditions, maintaining control of the basics — that is, line and length — but the swing and seam movement on offer too.

As Delano Potgieter and the Lions’ lower order showed later in the day, batting would become easier, and for that first session at least, it was a case of survival for the Lions. Sadly for the home team their top order did not.

By the time of the first drinks break, they were four down, three of those wickets falling to Paterson, including the centurion from last week, Josh Richards, and his teammate from Hamilton, Zubayr Hamza, off consecutive deliveries.

Temba Bavuma survived the hat-trick delivery but was dismissed off the second ball he faced, with Verreynne holding on to an excellent one-handed catch diving to his right.

Hendricks got rid of his namesake, Lions skipper Dominic, to provide WP with control not only of the day, but also the match.

The prolific Ryan Rickelton was dismissed by Mihlali Mpongwana for nine, leaving the Lions 58/5 at lunch. Then conditions changed. The sun shone, baking the life out of the pitch, which had been so prevalent in the morning, and the softer ball made batting an easier exercise, though there were still enough deliveries beating the outside edge, whenever the line and length was correct.

A sixth-wicket partnership of 77 between Potgieter and Wiaan Mulder provided some respite for the hosts, with Potgieter going on to score 81 and again underlining his value as a solid provincial pro, who adds something with bat and ball.

Mulder was understandably miffed about the loose drive that he edged which gave Mpongwana his second wicket, and given the way the Lions’ tail enders played, his 41 should have been a lot more.

Codi Yusuf made 34 and Malusi Siboto 32 as the Lions were dismissed for 225, but the damage wrought in the morning by Paterson has given WP complete control. Half of his 16 overs were maidens, and he finished with figures of 5/31.

WP openers Tony de Zorzi and another of the New Zealand debutants, Ed Moore, knocked off 49 runs with some aggressive batting in the last 40 minutes. They will look to make hay on Thursday.

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