Ram Slam T20 Challenge February 2, 2014

Duminy fifty helps Cobras stroll into final

ESPNcricinfo staff

JP Duminy's unbeaten 64 led Cape Cobras to a six-wicket win over Warriors, thus ensuring a place in the final of the Ram Slam T20. Cobras will now take on the winner of the semi-final between Titans and Dolphins in a home final on February 9.

Chasing 147, Cobras were shaky early on, losing opener Dane Vilas for a duck, but JP Duminy rallied the innings with a pacy 39-ball 64, which helped Cobras keep pace with the run rate, even though they lost wickets regularly. The fifth-wicket pair of Duminy and Justin Kemp, however, approached the target belligerently, adding 42 in four overs. Kemp smacked 26 off 19 balls, while Duminy struck seven fours and a six in his innings.

Earlier, Warriors managed 146 for 8 after opting to bat. Unlike their opponents, Warriors lacked partnerships and substantial knocks from their batsmen, who fell after getting starts. Davy Jacobs (33) and Ashwell Prince (17) added 39 runs in 3.3 overs, but neither batsman could capitalise. Beuran Hendricks was the leading wicket-taker for Cobras with 3 for 40, while Sunil Narine took 2 for 20, including the wicket of Warriors' top-scorer Jacobs.

Titans needed a couple of things to go their way to progress to the knockouts. They had to beat Knights, and Cape Cobras had to beat Warriors. Both results went their way, setting up a Titans-Dolphins clash on February 5 for a spot in the final against Cape Cobras on February 9.

Titans won big too, keeping Knights to 137 for 7 before their batsmen chased down the target with 15 balls and eight wickets to spare in Kimberley. The win was set up by their star overseas signing, Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal. Knights' top order had laid a solid platform for their side; the top three scored 111 among them, getting the team to 93 for 1 with about five overs to go. After their resistance was broken through though, Ajmal ran through the middle order, bowling Obus Pienaar and Werner Coetsee, and having Rudi Second edge to short third man. Johan van der Wath and Quinton Friend were run out for ducks in the final over of the innings, meaning the late surge Knights needed never came.

Henry Davids and Heino Kuhn set up the chase with a half-century stand, and Theunis de Bruyn combined with Davids for another fifty partnership for the second wicket to put the game beyond Knights.

A seven-run defeat for Dolphins against the Lions at the Wanderers meant that the Dolphins will now compete in the semi-final, at home, against Titans on Wednesday. After seven defeats in ten games, Lions finally secured their first win in the competition. After being put into bat, Lions were given a strong start by their openers Quinton de Kock and Stephen Cook, who added 59 in 7.2 overs. It became 82 for 3 after 11.5 overs and from then on, a pair of 40s by Neil McKenzie and Temba Bavuma lifted them to 159. McKenzie's 40 came off 24 balls while Bavuma's 41 came off 24 balls.

Dolphins were in trouble in the second ball of their chase when Cameron Delport cut Pumelela Matshikwe to point. Morne van Wyk and Cody Chetty then added 57 before a double-strike by the left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso brought Lions back into the match. Van Wyk was bowled off a straight one and the following ball, David Miller was caught behind by de Kock. Dolphins lost wickets at regular intervals and were struggling at 114 for 7. It came down to an improbable 24 needed off the last over and the ninth-wicket pair only managed 16. As a result, Dolphins lost their chance to secure a home final.

The winner on Wednesday will meet Cape Cobras in the final on February 9.