The Lions’ chances of progressing to the qualifier took a hit as they lost to the bottom-placed Knights by three runs by D/L method.
Friday night’s results leaves two do-or-die fixtures on Sunday. The defeat for the Lions means they have to beat the Cobras to reach the qualifier, while the Warriors and the Titans will clash for an automatic spot through to the final.
This was after a washed-out match in Port Elizabeth that gave both the Warriors and the Cobras two points apiece. The Warriors edged the Titans into top spot and the Cobras held onto third spot, but it will count for nothing if both sides don’t win their respective matches.
It was a low-scoring affair in Potchefstroom, as the Lions posted 125-8 from their allotted overs and came agonisingly close to securing victory with that total, but the Knights did just enough after 18 overs before rain ruined the contest.
The Lions never got going and it was Mbulelo Budaza who played a leading role in ensuring that, with figures of 1-10 from his four overs. Wiaan Mulder top-scored for the Lions, with the 18-year-old striking five boundaries for his 35 off 27 balls. The next-best score was Dwaine Pretorius with 22, fresh off his 47 off 14 balls in the Legacy Cup against the Boks the night previously.
The Knights went about their work cautiously but in the end it was well-measured. Rudi Second (52 off 55) and Leus du Ploy (39 off 42) built up an 81-run stand in 14 overs which set them up for victory, but in the end it was the rain which confirmed their victory, leaving a very interesting final round on Sunday.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images