Keith Lane works for Cricinfo in South Africa
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At Potchefstroom the Dolphins beat the Lions by three wickets but failed to reach the semi-finals in the highest scoring match of the season.
The Dolphins, needing the win and the bonus point to qualify for the semi-finals, put the Lions in to bat. Taking full advantage of the excellent batting pitch the Lions scored 190 as Andy Blignaut blasted away, from the solid platform set by the top order, to strike 61 not out off 28 balls with three fours and five sixes. Earlier the top order had made a solid start with Stephen Cook scoring 45 off 31. Zahir Abrahim took 3 for 40 but it was Jon Kent with 1 for 22 who was the most impressive.
Needing to score 191 off 16 overs to gain the bonus point, the Dolphins were on course during the first eight overs but the task of maintaining 12 runs per over became too onerous. Two quick wickets in the middle of the innings - and then the loss of Lance Klusener - saw the semi-final spot disappear as they reached 170 after the 16 overs. Kent made sure of the win, in 18 overs, as he scored 32 not out. Adam Bacher bowled cleverly, mixing it up in the middle of the innings and deservedly picking up 3 for 23.
At Paarl the Cobras blew away every chance of a home semi-final when they failed to chase down a mediocre target of 121 set by the Eagles. All the hard work had been done by the Cobras' bowlers as they restricted the Eagles to 120. Three wickets each for Alan Dawson and Rory Kleinveldt kept the pressure on the Eagles with Loots Bosman (34) and Ryan Bailey (30) the main contributors.
The Cobras' batting failed dismally as Cliff Deacon took the first three wickets for 17 in his opening four overs. The loss of JP Duminy, and needing 67 off eight overs proved too much, however, as the Cobras ended on 111 for 6, with a disappointed Thami Tsolekile finishing unbeaten on 33.