Cape Cobras 128 for 9 (van Zyl 30, Tshabalala 3-30) beat Eagles 127 for 7 (van Wyk 43, Chigumbura 5-16) by 1 wicket
Charl Langeveldt produced the second-best bowling figures in the history of Standard Bank Pro20 cricket as the Cobras made sure of a home semi-final with a nail-biting one-wicket victory over Diamond Eagles in their table- topping clash at Newlands on Friday.
Langeveldt finished with 5 for 16 as he helped the Cobras to restrict the Eagles to 127 for 7. He was also at the non- striker's end as the last man in as Ryan Canning smashed a four and single off the first two balls of the final over of the match from Roger Telemachus to give the Cobras a one-wicket win with four balls remaining.
They would have been the competition's best bowling figures but for the fact that Elton Chigumbura took 5 for 13 for Zimbabwe against the Titans at the same time.
Langeveldt turned the game in the Cobras' favour in the 19th over after his team had asked the Eagles to bat. Top scorers Morné van Wyk (43) and Dean Elgar (33) had blasted Vernon Philander for 20 in the previous over when Langeveldt was brought back into the attack. The pair fell in successive balls as Elgar top-edged to mid-on and Van Wyk edged to the keeper. Roger Telemachus's attempt to restart the innings ended following a single when he lost his off-stump to the unstoppable Langeveldt who dismissed Adrian McLaren lbw with his very next ball.
Dillon du Preez smashed 15 in the final over to lift the Eagles to a semi-respectable total but Langeveldt's four wickets - to add to the wicket of Riley Rossouw at the top of the innings - prevented the Eagles soaring towards the 150 mark.
A 53-run third-wicket partnership between Herschelle Gibbs (21) and the top-scorer Stiaan van Zyl (30) put the Cobras in sight of victory at 75 for 2 before the spinner Thandi Tshabalala introduced a serious mid- innings wobble. He took three wickets in the space of 11 balls to plunge the Cobras into crisis at 100 for 5, dismissing both Gibbs and van Wyk as well as the dangerous Tyron Henderson (21).
Henderson fell as he went for a third six off Tshabalala over long-on but the impetus he gave the innings allowed the tail to nudge and scamper their way to the 28 they needed off the final six overs.
The Cobras' thrilling victory - their fifth in six matches with one game rained out - means they have the inside straight or the play- offs and of grabbing one of the two South African places in an international Pro20 shoot-out for a US$1 million prize.
Dolphins 105 for 5 (Rowley 46) beat Lions 104 for 9 (Kruger 19, Louw 4-28) by 5 wickets
Dolphins seamer Johann Louw has the look of an accountant rather than a demon bowler, but he gave the Lions nightmares in Johannesburg on Friday with figures of 4 for 28. Louw claimed all his scalps in the space of eight deliveries to send the Lions limping to a total of 104 for 9.
The Dolphins might have coasted to victory with their eyes closed and their minds in neutral. Instead, they wobbled to a five-wicket win, which was achieved with 17 balls to spare. A late flurry of three wickets for two runs in six balls meant they weren't able to claim the bonus point.
Louw did his damage when he removed Alviro Petersen (2), Dumisa Makalima (0), Blake Snijman (18) and Justin Ontong (4) to reduce the Lions to 27 for 5 in the sixth over.
Grant Rowley (46) and Imraan Khan (28) put the Dolphins securely on track for victory with their second-wicket stand of 57.
Zimbabwe 151 for 6 (Matsikenyeri 51, van de merwe 3-18) beat Titans 139 for 9 (van de Merwe 70*, Chigumbura 5-13) by 12 runs
Elton Chigumbura's medium-pace ran through the Titans as Zimbabwe registered a surprise 12-run win in Centurion. Chigumbura took 5 for 13 as the Titans, chasing 152, crashed to 5 for 10 in the first five overs. Chigumbura's astonishing performance set a new record for the best bowling figures in Standard Bank Pro20 history. Charl Langeveldt, who took 5 for 16 for the Cobras against the Diamond Eagles, barely had his feet up in the Newlands change room for an hour when the record was snatched away from him.
After such a rampant start, it should have been a cruise for Zimbabwe, but young Roelof van der Merwe nearly ruined the party for them. In a performance almost as amazing as Chigumbura's, he refused to believe the Titans were dead and buried and smashed an unbeaten 70 off 49 balls.
But van der Merwe's performance did mask the fact that the Titans top order is in terrible shape and the MTN Domestic Championships winners are in real danger of missing out on the semi-finals of the Pro20. Their match against the Highveld Lions at SuperSport Park on Sunday is now a local derby and a knockout encounter.
van der Merwe also had a good outing with the ball as he took 3 for 18 in his four overs, including two wickets in the final over of the innings, as Zimbabwe scored 151 for 6 after winning the toss. Stuart Matsikenyeri provided the showpiece innings for Zimbabwe with his 51 off 30 balls, a sparkling knock of some class. The opener Brendan Taylor played a valuable role as a foundation for the innings with his 38 off 35 balls, while Keith Dabengwa scored 25, including one knockout punch, heaving a massive six off Ethy Mbhalati over the chalets and into the practice nets.
Chamu Chibhabha provided some urgency at the death with his 22 off 18 balls. Andre Nel and the more languid Albie Morkel also shone with the ball for the Titans, but with no reward. The real damage was done a little later when a far less fiery bowler got hold of the new ball, with Chigumbura writing himself into the record books.