Prince ton takes Warriors to MTN40 title
Warriors 299 for 4 (Prince 128, Kallis 87*) beat Dolphins 228 (Amla 68, Benkenstein 63, Parnell 3-27, Tsotsobe 3-53) by 71 runs
Solving the issues surrounding Ashwell Prince's position in the national team is one of Corrie van Zyl's first jobs as South Africa's interim coach. However, Prince gave his cause a timely boost with his maiden limited-overs hundred to guide the Warriors to the MTN40 title with a powerful 71-run victory against the Dolphins at East London.
Prince's 96-ball 128 anchored the Warriors innings as they piled up an imposing 299 for 4 with the total being given a late boost by the in-form Jacques Kallis who plundered 87 off 57 balls. Kallis added 91 in 10 overs for the third wicket with Prince and 59 off the 4.5 overs with Davey Jacobs as the home side plundered a weak opposition attack.
The Dolphins' key pair of Alfonso Thomas and Andrew Hall conceded 144 in 15 overs between them as the Warriors made full use of their Powerplays. With the Warriors having all their internationals available - six of the team were due on a charter flight to Johannesburg the following morning to fly out to India - they were always the favourites and a battling, but underpowered Dolphins, were no match despite spirited innings from Hashim Amla, Dale Benkenstein and David Miller.
For Prince this was the ideal tonic after a lean series against England were he managed 97 in seven innings to leave plenty of questions surrounding his international future. Having admitted to being a reluctant opener South Africa need to decide how to make best use of Prince, but on this occasion he looked perfectly at home at the top of the order.
His opening stand of 93 with Justin Kreusch set the platform on a flat pitch with a fast outfield. Showing a flamboyance that was more akin to the earlier days of his career, Prince reached three figures from 85 balls before leaving the stage set for Kallis's late charge.
Kallis's form has been in no doubt throughout the season since he returned from injury - he notched two fine hundreds against England - and his clean striking stood out as a class above in this innings.
The Dolphins' chase was derailed by the seventh over as Lonwabo Tsotsobe ripped out the first three wickets in an impressive new-ball spell - another useful display with the India tour looming. Amla (68) and Benkenstein (63) did their best to resurrect the innings as they added 100 for the fourth wicket, but an asking rate of approaching ten-an-over was always too much.
Miller went down swinging as he clubbed 46 from 30 balls but he fell to Wayne Parnell, who also collected three wickets, and the final scalp went to Rusty Theron as he ended the MTN40 season as the leading wicket-taker with 21 scalps at 18.80.