Semi-final battle hots up
The Cape Cobras were the big movers during the latest week of the MTN Domestic Championship with two wins putting them firmly in the shake-up for a semi-finals place. The Titans continued to run away with the league stage after a washout and a victory consolidated their position at the top.
There is plenty of congestion for the remaining three semi-final berths with the Cobras hitting form at the right time. They comfortably overcame the Lions by seven wickets as Herschelle Gibbs found touch with an unbeaten 74, but faced a much closer encounter against the Warriors.
Defending 176 the Cobras appeared out of the game with the Warriors on 109 for 1 in the 31st over, however Con de Lange produced a superb spell to claim 3 for 31. The international trio of Charl Langeveldt, Vernon Philander and Monde Zondeki also played their part as the Cobras held on by three runs.
The Eagles maintained their slim hold on second place despite a 61-run defeat against the Titans where Albie Morkel starred with 50 and 4 for 27. Earlier they demolished the Lions by 116 runs in Bloemfontein as Morne van Wyk crunched 125 off 141 balls and Ryan McLaren claimed four wickets.
It was a shocking week for the Lions as, along with their defeats against the Cobras and the Eagles, they also slumped against Zimbabwe and fell to the bottom of the table. Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha led Zimbabwe's run chase against a Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target and they won with nine balls to spare. That victory followed up a three-wicket success against the Dolphins where Stuart Matsikenyeri's unbeaten 58 edged them home.
The Dolphins suffered three defeats as their semi-final hopes took a hammering and although they are still in fourth place their form is only going one way. The Warriors may yet catch them with three games remaining and their 10-run win in Pietermaritzburg could prove crucial in the final outcome.