Eagles 263 for 6 (M van Wyk 86, Bailey 68) beat Lions (229 Cook 71, McLaren 4-43) by 34 runs

Morne van Wyk'a 86 set Eagles up for a convincing win © Cricinfo Ltd

The Eagles have reached back-to-back Standard Bank Cup finals with an exciting 34-run semi-final win at the Wanderers against a game Lions team who were bowled out for 229 in 42.2 overs.

An 85-run partnership between Morne van Wyk and Ryan Bailey allowed the Eagles to post a good total of 263 for 6 in their 45 overs after being asked to bat first. The innings had started slowly on a good hard Wanderers pitch with Loots Bosman speeding things up with a quick 40 before being bowled after facing 39 balls. The big partnership ended when van Wyk was well caught by Stephen Cook on the third man boundary for 86 and Bailey was cut short by a close run out. With a good platform set, Roger Telemachus pulled out the long handle hitting 31 off 15 balls and Dillon du Preez scored 13 off six balls as the Eagles scored 67 runs off the final six overs.

The Lions innings stuttered along in bursts that slowly but surely put themselves further behind the required rate. Adam Bacher was first to go after scoring 48 in a 76-run opening partnership with Cook. Cook, the top run scorer in the competition, had just started to accelerate the innings when he mistimed to mid-off for 71. Werner Coetsee tried to play one too many reverse sweeps to be bowled for 15. Vaughn van Jaarsveld was run out in a bizarre way with Telemachus, standing in front of the wickets, missing a return from the deep that deflected into the stumps to leave van Jaarsveld well short for 22. Dumisa Makalima had to take risks but was caught for nine while Friedel de Wet gave the home supporters some hope striking two fours before being bowled for 11 by Ryan McLaren giving him career best figures of 4 for 43.

In the end the Lions allowed themselves to fall too far behind in the middle of the innings and paid the price with a loss in a season that promised such a lot.

Keith Lane works for Cricinfo in South Africa