Alviro Petersen defied the rain and the Gestetner Diamond Eagles bowlers to lead the Highveld Lions to a six-run D/L victory in their Standard Bank Pro20 match at Sedgars Park in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
The Lions were well on their way to a target of 157, thanks to Petersen's 56 not out off 35 balls, on 98 for 2 after 12.3 overs when a second dose of thundershowers returned and washed out the match.
Petersen had hit nine fours and a six to leave the Lions unbeaten and on top of the log, after the Eagles had lost their way against the home side's slower bowlers and meandered to 156 for 5 after being sent in to bat.
The Lions lost an early wicket when Blake Snijman (1) drove Victor Mpitsang to cover in the second over, but Tyron Henderson (22) then came in and established the Lions' dominance with five fours in nine balls.
Petersen's top-class innings followed a superb allround bowling display by the Lions on a Sedgars Park pitch that proved slower than expected.
The Eagles were indebted to a quality innings of 52 not out off 38 balls by skipper Nicky Boje for their total, which was built around a free-scoring 71-run fifth-wicket partnership between Boje and Ryan McLaren (33).
The Lions rapidly removed Eagles openers Jacques Rudolph (12) and Morne van Wyk (16), who have been in blazing form this season, thanks to fine bowling by Tyron Henderson and Garnett Kruger respectively, and the likes of Gerhard de Bruin, Werner Coetsee and Justin Ontong then continued the quality work of the quick bowlers.
Boeta Dippenaar tried his hardest to break the stranglehold with two fours and a six in his 24 off 22 balls, before falling to a fine running catch by Eugene Moleon on the midwicket boundary as he slog-swept Ontong.
McLaren, who hit three fours off 28 balls, and Boje ensured a late flurry of runs, but Coetsee bowled the final over and would have the final say. In a beautiful display of limited-overs spin bowling, he bowled his four overs for just 24 runs.
Ken Borland works for the MWP Sport agency