Warriors, Knights stay in race
A strong batting performance, powered by a 178-run opening stand between Michael Price and JJ Smuts, set up Warriors' 45-run win against Dolphins in Port Elizabeth. Price (95) and Smuts (88) batted for more than two hours together at the crease, as Warriors, opting to bat, compiled 322 for 6. Both batsmen fell short of centuries, but laid a solid platform for the team, as late surges from Colin Ingram (40) and Ryan Bailey (63*) lifted Warriors beyond 300.
Most of the Dolphins batsmen made starts in the chase, but could not build on it, as regular wickets soon dragged the team back to 185 for 6. A 61-run association between Khaya Zondo (74) and Andile Phehlukwayo gave the team some faint hope, but once Zondo fell in the 45th over, Dolphins duly folded for 277. Rusty Theron was the pick of Warriors' bowlers, collecting 4 for 67, including three in a single over.
Fifties from Gerhardt Abrahams, Rudi Second and Pite van Biljon helped Knights gun down 228 against Lions in Johannesburg. The comprehensive seven-wicket victory meant Knights also secured a bonus point and kept alive their hopes of reaching the playoffs. Knights lost Lefa Mosena early in the chase, but Abrahams (62) and Second (55) joined hands for a second-wicket stand which yielded 107 runs off 104 balls. Eddie Leie dismissed both batsmen in the space of seven overs, but van Biljon scored an unbeaten 51 and was part of an unbroken, fourth-wicket partnership with Obus Pienaar, ensuring Knights were home in 38 overs.
Earlier, Lions, having been inserted, were restricted to 227 for 9. A 70-run stand for the second wicket between Rassie van der Dussen (57) and Alviro Petersen (39) gave the team a solid start, but a middle-order slide which saw them slump from 124 for 1 to 162 for 7, proved too costly in the end. For Knights, Dillon du Preez picked up 4 for 34, while Shadley van Schalkwyk chipped in with 2 for 43.
Albie Morkel starred with both bat and ball, guiding Titans to a five-wicket win over Cape Cobras at Newlands. Morkel first removed Cobras' openers Richard Levi and Andrew Puttick early, before slamming an unbeaten 52-ball 63 to ensure his team chased down 214 with 43 deliveries to spare. Cobras, choosing to bat first, could only muster 213. After Morkel's early blows, Stiaan van Zyl steadied the innings by top-scoring with 69, but no other batsman was able to raise a much-needed half-century, as wickets at regular intervals kept pegging the team back.
Henry Davids led Titans' chase with a 59-ball 54, but with the batsmen at the other hand failing to build on, the team was soon left floundering at 89 for 4. However, Qaasim Adams (31) and Grant Thomson (36) chipped in with crucial thirties, before Morkel blitzed four fours and sixes each to finish the game off.