Knights v Lions, Ram Slam T20, Bloemfontein January 12, 2014

Knights openers thrash Lions

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Knights openers - Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw - smashed half-centuries to thrash Lions by nine wickets in Bloemfontein to earn their first win of the tournament. They scored 69* and 72 off 53 balls each in their second successive century stand to chase down 152 with eight balls to spare after Quinton de Kock's 71 led the Lions' charge.

Put in to bat, Lions lost Alviro Petersen in the first over when he was trapped lbw on the first ball by Johan van der Wath. No. 3 Gulam Bodi didn't hit out as much as the other opener, de Kock, but gave him strike regularly and the 21-year-old struck boundaries regularly, six fours and two sixes in all, particularly on the leg side to reach 50 off 39 balls. Bodi top-edged Dean Elgar four overs later in an attempt to slog-sweep him and gave a return catch to fall for 21. Neil McKenzie didn't hit out much either and after a stand of 31, de Kock's middle stump went for a walk when he tried a big heave off Dillon du Preez. The middle order lacked firepower as McKenzie and Azhar Mahmood scored 42 in the last 29 balls to take them to 151.

Hendricks and Rossouw took the Lions bowlers apart from the very first over, scoring at least a boundary in each of the first six overs by when they had reached 61. They were particularly harsh on Chris Morris who conceded 16 in the fourth over and 36 overall. Mahmood was also welcomed with a six in his first over but he was the only economical bowler, conceding 16 in three overs. Spinners Imran Tahir and Aron Phangiso were also shown no mercy as they were hit for 59 runs together in 6.4 overs. Rossouw was dismissed by Morris in the 17th over for 72 but the chase was virtually over by then with 18 runs required from 22 balls.

Hendricks hit consecutive fours in the next over and Elgar finished things off with a four to gain four points, but missed the bonus point even though they needed 36 from three overs at one point with ten wickets intact.