St Stithians opener, Matthew Erasmus, smashed 105 off 75 balls to set the tone for his side’s 37-run victory over the Warriors on Saturday, and guarantee a semi-final spot.
Beautiful weather in Stellenbosch was greeted by a calming ambience, on a morning perfectly poised for T20 cricket.
The defending champions the Lions were in good form after winning their opening two matches on day one, and they faced a hungry Warriors side who were looking to bounce back after their loss to the Cobras on Friday evening.
The Lions got off to a shaky start, losing Joshua Richards (7) and SA U19 star Wandile Makwetu (9) early on, to reduce the Lions to 46-2 after six overs.
Erasmus showed similar grit as against the Cobras, by scoring 77 not out against Wynberg Boys in their opening win, and powered his side forward. He reached his half-century off 44 balls and went on to play an anchoring role for his side to score a ton, hitting five sixes and four fours.
Despite Curtis Campher playing a supportive role, hitting 37 off 26 balls, it was the hard-hitting Erasmus who stole the show to help his side set a competitive total of 162-3 after their 20 overs.
The Lions got their defence off to a good start, with Campher (1-15 ) backing up his form with the bat. He took a wicket off his first over to give the Warriors a wobbly start. A 61-run partnership between Josneil Long (28 off 35) and Matt Dewar (24 off 30 balls) gave Selborne College some hope, but Jason Knibbs broke that partnership, followed by two quick wickets by chinaman Craig Meier (2-18), as the Warriors were reduced to 74-4.
Despite a late fight by Stuart Els, who scored 38 off 23 balls, wickets continued to tumble as the Warriors scored 125-8 off their 20 overs.
Elsewhere, in Franschhoek, Hudson Park crushed Centurion High School by nine wickets. A four-for from Nonelela Yikha (4-13) and three from Jason Niemand (3-9), helped them topple the Titans for 86. The Coastal Focus Schools side, spearheaded by Niemand (53 not out), eased past the target with one wicket down, posting 87 in 12 overs.
The Knights also cruised to victory by beating the Dolphins by eight wickets. After bowling out Glenwood for 101, St Andrews chased down the target, posting 107 thanks to a 73-run second-wicket stand by Garnett Tarr (39) and Gerald Coetzee (49 not out). Coetzee received the Man of the Match award for taking 2-11 and scoring 49 off 31 balls (four sixes and two fours).
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