Dolphins and Eagles post narrow wins
Dolphins 179 for 3 (Watson 81) beat Lions 183 for 8 (Cook 63, Ackerman 70, Tweedie 4-41) by 20 runs (D/L Method)
A seven over blitz from Dale Benkenstein and Doug Watson, after rain reduced the game in Durban to 37 overs, was just enough for the Dolphins to earn an exciting win in a game that finished as late as 00:30.
On a slow pitch the Dolphins won the toss and batted first but struggled to 100 for 2 off 30 overs before the rain came down. Watson, who made 49 off 72, had battled hard on a pitch where the ball was not coming onto the bat. When the rain eventually stopped, eight overs had been lost and that was when Watson and Benkenstein laid into the Dolphins attack smashing 79 in the remaining seven overs. They finally took the Dolphins to 179 with Watson hammering 81 off 92 and Benkenstein ending on 43 not out.
The Lions were left to chase 204 off 37 overs but lost Adam Bacher and Martinus Otto within the first two overs. Stephen Cook and HD Ackerman then set about a recovery and added 108 off 131 balls for the third wicket before Lance Klusener ran Cook out for 63. Neil McKenzie managed just three before being brilliantly caught by Zaheer Abrahim at short fine leg.
Ackerman, having been bowled off a no-ball from Mfuneko Ngam when on 26, had moved to 70 and had things in control. But Andrew Tweedie, the medium pacer, rattled his stumps and snapped up three more wickets as the Lions wilted under the pressure and fell 20 runs short.
Eagles 171 for 9 (van Wyk 57, Hayward 4-28) beat Warriors 174 (van der Wath 3-31, Kruis 3-27) by 1 wicket (D/L Method)
At Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein, the Eagles scraped to a narrow one-wicket win over the Warriors. In a low-scoring game, the Eagles reached their revised target of 171 with three balls to spare.
After electing to bat, the Warriors had been bowled out for 174 and they hardly got any partnerships going. Mark Bruyns with 44 and Laden Gamiet (30 not out) were the main contributors with Johannes van der Wath and Deon Kruis picking up three wickets apiece.
The Eagles rode on the 54-run partnership between Morne van Wyk and Benjamin Hector. But Mornantau Hayward triggered a mini-collapse and reduced them to 93 for 5. A short rain-break saw two overs lost and the target reduced to 171. Van Wyk and van der Wath then took the score to 134 and Cliff Deacon fell four runs later as Hayward got his fourth victim. Roger Telemachus fell when 22 were needed and it was finally left to Deon Kruis and T Tshabalala to take the Eagles through.