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December 22, 2008
Eagles moved back to the top of the table with a six-wicket win over Dolphins in Kimberley thanks to a fine 126 from Morne van Wyk in Kimberley. Eagles were set a challenging 268 from their 45 overs, and although they lost Dean Elgar and Rilee Rossouw in quick succession, Boeta Dippenaar (48 from 64) and Ryan Bailey (60 from just 43 balls) took them through to a comfortable win with one over to spare. Imraan Khan was the standout batsman for Dolphins, continuing his fine form with an unbeaten 110 - his maiden ton - while Jon Kent smacked a stylish 50 from 45. It wasn't quite enough, however.
Lions' miserable form in this competition continued at the hands of Cape Cobras who romped to an emphatic 48-run win in Potchefstroom. Cape Cobras compiled a daunting 295 for 8 as Henry Davids top-scored with 97 while Stiaan van Zyl made 81. The real injection in momentum came from Justin Ontong who lifted three sixes in addition to four powerful fours, cracking 54 from 31 as Lions' bowlers began to suffer. And to ice their cake, 20-year-old Richard Levi heaved 29 from 16. Lions' chase began promisingly when Alviro Petersen stroked 50 and Vaughn van Jaarsveld a powerful 84, but Rory Kleinveldt took 3 for 26 while Claude Henderson also picked up three wickets and the Lions' tail failed to wag.
Dolphins fought back from their defeat against Eagles earlier in the week, recording a nine-win over Warriors in Durban. Khan's prolific form continued, and he appeared set for another hundred before he was bowled by Wayne Parnell - the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 56 - for 86. Ahmed Amla's 64 ensured a competitive total of 250. Warriors' chase began promisingly - Michael Smith got the innings off to a flyer with 54 from 59 - but despite a number of starts, wickets continued to fall. Davey Jacobs gave them hope with a slick 73 from 71 but was bowled by Jayasuriya who finished with 3 for 39 as Warriors fell 9 runs short.
Dillon du Preez and Thandi Tshabalala took six wickets between them in Eagles' second comprehensive win of the week, beating Titans by 12 runs at Centurion. A run-a-ball 93 from Ryan Bailey anchored Eagles' competitive, if below-par, 244 for 6 and shared in a fifth-wicket stand worth 158 with Boeta Dippenaar (73 from 89). Titans' Blake Snijman gave his side hope with 73, but du Preez and Tshabalala maintained their lines to leave the tail with too much to do.
Titans responded to their defeat with an impressive five-wicket win over Cape Cobras, however, as Albie Morkel smashed 55 to guide them to their target of 246 at Newlands. Cape Cobras were indebted to Stiaan van Zyl's second slick knock of the week; his 108 was comfortably the highest score, though Levi assisted with 47 while Ryan Canning cracked some lofty late-order blows. Titans' chase began poorly, slipping to 92 for 3, but Morkel and Farhaan Behardien - who made 67 from 63 - took Titans to a cantering win with 25 balls to spare as Cobras suffered from the absence of Charl Langeveldt.
Dolphins moved to fourth in the table after beating bottom-placed Lions by five wickets in Pietermaritzburg. Fifties from Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Petersen lifted Lions to 229 but that man Khan, yet again, stabled Dolphins' response with another fifty. He cracked 74 from 82 with several scorching drives through the infield, and was dropped on 6, while Amla made 58 from 59. Both fell within four balls of each other but HD Ackerman stroked 44 while Pierre de Bruyn struck 21 from 26 as Dolphins crept home with four balls remaining.
Player of the week - Imraan Khan
Dolphins might be languishing in fourth place, but without Imraan Khan's prolific scoring they might easily have slipped further down the table. Khan cracked 110, 86 and 74 - all innings of high class, though he isn't quite as dashing or extravagant as his opening partner Sanath Jayasuriya. Nevertheless, his method is working and he now has 400 runs from seven matches, averaging 66.66.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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