• Cobras extend lead

    The Cape Cobras moved further ahead of the chasing pack, while the Knights and Lions also recorded victories on Friday.

    The Warriors won the toss and inserted the Cape Cobras. The decision backfired as the first wicket took nearly 16 overs to fall. Richard Levi was the first to go, but his 53-ball 76 had already laid the foundation for an imposing total. His opening partner, Andrew Puttick, was dismissed shortly after for 65 off 50 deliveries.

    Kieron Pollard made the most of his promotion to No 3, smashing 32 not out off just 15 balls to elevate the total to 187-3 at the end of the 20 overs. It would have been far worse if Rusty Theron hadn’t shown the form that earned him national colours. He finished with very respectable figures of 1-25 in his four over ration.

    The hosts were never in the chase after JJ Smuts and Craig Kieswetter departed for zero and one, respectively. The rest of the batsmen also fell away as the Warriors suffered the embarrassment of being bowled out within the 20 overs to hand the visitors a 72-run bonus point victory.

    Sybrand Engelbrecht recovered from an infection to take his place in the XI and showed no ill effects. His off-spinners gripped on the slow surface, yielding the most impressive return of the match. He took 4-22 in 3.1 overs to bowl the Warriors out for 115.

    In Kimberley, the Knights continued their impressive run by picking up a bonus point win and simultaneously ended any realistic hopes the Dolphins may have had of retaining their title.

    Reeza Hendricks held the Knights innings together with a 50-ball 69, before Andre Russell smashed 50 off just 19 balls at the death. The late onslaught took the Knights to 167-5.

    Dwayne Bravo’s 18-ball 35 was the only knock in the chase that showed any fight. It was ended, along with the Dolphins aspirations of victory, when Shadley van Schalkwyk disturbed his furniture. The former Wynberg Boys’ High pupil finished with figures of 3-28 in four overs, as the Dolphins collapsed to 128 all out.

    Potchefstroom saw a last ball thriller, as the Lions beat the Titans by one run and held on to second spot on the log. Rassie van der Dussen scored an unbeaten 101 off 61 balls to help the Lions post 179-3 on a beautiful batting wicket.

    In reply, Heino Kuhn carried his bat to finish on 69 off 57 deliveries. He seemed to have timed the chase perfectly; the big-hitting Darren Sammy faced the final ball of the match, needing one run for the tie and two for victory. Lonwabo Tsotsobe had returned figures of 1-44 in his 3.5 overs, but all that mattered was his last ball. He bowled a low full toss that Sammy drilled straight to short cover, where Neil McKenzie took a sharp catch to secure victory by the narrowest possible margin.

    Report compiled by Gareth Stevens.

    Photo: Backpagepix

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