Warriors end league stage in style
Charl Langeveldt took three wickets off the final over to seal a thrilling tie between the Cape Cobras and the Lions in Potchefstroom. Chasing 155, the Lions were well-placed to win, needing eight off the last over with seven wickets in hand. Langeveldt had the innings top scorer Alviro Peterson caught at long-on off the second ball but the next delivery was smashed for six by his partner Dane Vilas. A single gave Werner Coetsee the strike but he fell immediately, edging a bouncer to Andrew Puttick. The scores were level at that point but the Lions failed to score the winning run as Cliff Deacon was bowled by Langeveldt off the final ball. Earlier, the return of JP Duminy from Australia bolstered the Cape Cobras as he top scored with 56 off 44 balls to push the score to 154. However, the efforts of Peterson and Neil McKenzie weren't enough as the Lions choked in the final over.
The Titans finally opened their account in the Pro20 with an an easy six-wicket win against the Eagles at Centurion. The Eagles, after being put in to bat, managed 153 and were led by Dean Elgar, who top scored with 47. He added 62 for the second wicket with Adrian McLaren but after the pair was dismissed, their team struggled to get past 150. The Titans openers Gulam Bodi and Blake Snijman set a solid foundation with a stand of 75, making the chase of 154 much easier for the rest. Farhaan Berhardien built on the platform with an aggressive 35 off 20 balls, launching three consecutive sixes off Ryan Bailey before Roelof van der Merwe sealed the match in the penultimate over with successive sixes off Ryan McLaren.
A frenetic seventh-wicket stand of 57 in 4.1 overs between Johan Botha and Craig Thyssen carried the Warriors over the finish line against the Lions in a low-scoring affair in Port Elizabeth.. The Warriors were in trouble at 70 for 6 at one stage in pursuit of a modest 124. Craig Alexander made early inroads with 3 for 14 to jolt them early in their chase before Botha and Thyssen changed the complexion of the game. Lions lost an opportunity to record their first win of the tournament but their bowlers in the end didn't have a big target to defend. In their innings, the Lions had struggled to 59 for four in the 12th over and were lifted by Vaughan van Jaarsveld but he was circumspect in his unbeaten 40, which came off 43 balls.
The Dolphins coasted to an eight-wicket win against the Lions in Durban. Yusuf Abdulla, the left-arm seamer, set it up with 3 for 28 to restrict the Lions to a disappointing 112 for 8. Dane Vilas played the lone hand with an unbeaten 55 off 51 balls with very little support from the other end. The Dolphins openers Hashim Amla and HD Ackerman led the chase with ease, adding 67 before both fell in very quick succession. Ahmed Amla and Grant Rowley then eased to the target with an over to spare. It was a rather disappointing end for the Lions as they finished the tournament without a win. The Dolphins will now meet the Cobras in the first leg of the semi-finals in Newlands on Friday.
Ashwell Prince made a fine return from injury with 46 to set up the Warriors' 18-run win against the Eagles in Bloemfontein. He came in with his team in trouble at 13 for 3, started the repair work with Colin Ingram and continued it with Davey Jacobs. After his dismissal in the 16th over, run out by Dean Elgar, the Warriors were boosted by a late assault by Jacobs and Craig Thyssen, who smashed four sixes in his 41 off 15 balls. Chasing 150, the Eagles were progressing steadily at 88 for 2 in 13 overs but lost five wickets for 22, a position from which they never recovered. The Warriors secured a semi-final berth and will now face the Eagles in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.