Cobras in final, du Preez steals thriller for Knights
Cape Cobras booked their place in the final with a comprehensive win over Dolphins at Newlands that took the winners to the top of the table. A collective bowling effort helped Cobras bowl out their opponents for just 185. Half-centuries from opener Khayelihle Zondo and Cody Chetty - the pair added 84 for the fifth wicket - were the only significant contributions from the Cobras, who lost three wickets to Rory Kleinveldt and two to Dale Steyn. Jacques Kallis starred with the bat for Cobras, making a quickfire 78 in an innings that included five fours and five sixes. He helped his team reach its target in just 29 overs, securing a bonus point, a place at the top of the table and a place in the final.
Warriors had already qualified for the knockouts and had to settle for a place in the semi-final after losing to the Titans in Centurion. In a closely-fought game, half-centuries from Heino Kuhn, Faf du Plessis, Farhaan Behardien and David Wiese took Titans past the Warriors score of 294 in the penultimate over. Wiese smashed 82 off 51 balls, with five fours and six sixes, and was involved in a match-winning 119-run partnership with Behardien, who made an unbeaten 52. In a game with as many as seven half-centuries, JJ Smuts, Ashwell Prince and Justin Kreusch chipped in for Warriors to set up a formidable total but they were outdone by their opponents. Warriors will take on Knights in the semi-final on December 4. The winner takes on Cobras in the final on December 9.
Knights beat Lions in a thriller in Johannesburg by one wicket. Set a target of 251, the Knights seemed virtually out of contention at 172 for 8 after seamer Craig Alexander took 4 for 47. But half-centuries from Aubrey Swanepoel and Dillon du Preez triggered an amazing turnaround. It helped that Knights bat deep and the ninth-wicket pair added 62 in 45 balls. Swanepoel was the more watchful of the two, making 54 in 73 and was run out in the 48th over, still 17 short of the target. du Preez, on the other hand, was unstoppable, smashing five sixes in a breezy 52 that helped his team clinch victory with a ball to spare. He made those runs off just 26 deliveries and had No.11 Malusi Siboto at the other end.
du Preez's innings was part of a splendid all-round effort. His picked up five wickets with his seamers to help bowl out Lions for a chaseable score. This, after three of their batsmen - Alviro Peterson, Neil McKenzie and Thami Tsolekile - scored half-centuries.