Stephen Cook steers Lions to victory
At the Wanderers, Johannesburg the decision to put the Eagles in to bat first paid off for the Lions as they successfully chased down a target of 221, winning by 5 wickets and closing the gap at the top of the Standard Bank Cup table.
Stephen Cook, batting right through the Lions innings, scored a match winning 87 not out while Dumisa Makalima waded in with 40 not out off 30 balls as the pair put on 68 for the sixth wicket to take the Lions through in 42.3 overs. Thandi Tshabalala, the 21 year old offspinner, was the most successful Eagles bowler picking up 3 for 51.
The Eagles innings never gained any momentum until Johan van der Wath came in at number seven. Smashing 70 not out off 48 balls with four boundaries and five sixes he shared a 74-run partnership with Boeta Dippenaar (42) as the two brought some respectability back to the Eagles total of 220 for 7.
The Titans retook the lead on the Standard Bank Cup table after a six-wicket win against the Warriors at Willowmoore Park, Benoni.
Sent in to bat first the Warriors could only manage 186 for 8 as Dale Steyn, taking 3 for 29, made things very difficult at the top of the innings. Robin Petersen put together a useful 56 but could not find a willing partner as wickets fell at regular intervals.
The Titans innings started exactly as ordered with Goolam Bodi (56) and Alviro Petersen (72) putting on 133 in 21.3 overs for the first wicket. Petersen, building quite a reputation for himself, hit 10 boundaries and a six. Two wickets from Robin Petersen was never going to be enough to save the warriors with the Titans winning in 34.1 overs and earning the bonus point.
Rain interruptions at Kingsmead, Durban saw a reduction in overs in an exciting tied match between the Dolphins and the Cape Cobras. To add to the rain the lights also failed reducing the overs even further.
The Dolphins nearly blew away a semi-final spot as they set after the target of 195 off 39 overs and then 185 off 36. Doug Watson scored a solid 55, but scoring it off 88 balls increased the pressure on the following batsmen. With the crowd calling for Lance Klusener at the fall of every wicket, he left it till there was six wickets down, 39 runs and 26 balls remaining before he came to the crease and was run out for one. It was left to Duncan Brown, 27 off 25 balls, and Robert Frylinck, 18 off 8 balls, to get the Dolphins to within one run of victory.
The interruptions had not done the Cobras innings any good as they lost wickets at each resumption of play but Derrin Bassage maintained his concentration scoring 81 out of a total of 193 in the 39 overs available. He was well supported by Con de Lange (30) and Vernon Philander (33 not out) while Andrew Tweedie was the pick of the Dolphins bowlers taking 3 for 47.