Knights join Cobras and Warriors in knockouts
Knights took the third and final spot in the qualifying rounds with a 102-run victory over Dolphins in a rain-affected encounter in Pietermaritzburg. All three teams that have qualified are still in with a chance of topping the table and making the final directly, while the other two will clash in a semi-final.
Winning the toss and batting first, Knights were pegged back by early strikes from Kyle Abbott, before Dean Elgar struck a century to put them on course for a big score. Elgar was supported by Obus Pienaar (88) and their 185-run third wicket stand formed the backbone of the innings. Abbott came back to make two more breaches and finish with 4 for 41, but it wasn't enough to keep Knights under 300. Dolphins' reply never got going as regular wickets to Johan van der Wath and Dillon du Preez reduced them to 137 for 7, well short of the par score, when the rain came down decisively in the 26th over.
A rollicking 88-ball 108 from Neil McKenzie was the highlight of Lions' hammering of Titans at New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Alviro Petersen and Jonathan Vandiar set the stage for Lions' dominance with a 121-run opening stand. Quinton de Kock then contributed a steady 37, before McKenzie took over. His effort included 14 fours and a six, and made the most of a ragged bowling display that conceded a shocking 41 wides. Titans never recovered from their bowling nadir, as the batsmen succumbed to new-ball bowlers Cliffe Deacon and Pumelela Matshikwe. Deacon scalped five, while Matshikwe finished with four victims, before Titans folded in the 31st over, 142 runs short of the mark.