A solid innings of 70 from Colin Ingram paved the way for a five-wicket win for the Warriors over the Cape Cobras in Paarl on Sunday.
But even he will pay tribute to the smoothing of the way by Sisanda Magala, who took 5-40 off nine overs and Andrew Birch (3-48), who restricted the Cobras to the inadequate score of 250-9.
After losing the wickets of Keegan Petersen (0), Richard Levi (22), both to Birch, and Omphile Ramela (39), the Cobras were pegged back to 93-3 after 21 overs.
For a while it looked like they make a game of it, as Justin Ontong and Lesiba Ngoebe (37) put on 72 for the fourth wicket in 14 overs. At 165-3 after 39 overs, they were well placed. But when Ontong fell for 77 off 98 balls (9×4), with the score on 215 after 46 overs, the impetus was lost and wickets clattered behind him.
JJ Smuts (39) and Gihahn Cloete (20) paced the reply perfectly, going through the powerplay with 46 runs on the board. When Cloete fell, the foundation had been laid. Ingram received good support all the way, taking the score to 170 after 37 overs when he tried to clip Wayne Parnell over mid-wicket and was taken by Robin Petersen. His 70 came off 82 balls with six fours and a six.
The Cobras may have taken some hope when Somila Seyibokwe fell four runs later, but Christiaan Jonker (44 0ff 32) and Colin Ackermann (35 off 30) had the freedom to take the Warriors over the line with seven balls remaining.
The two teams go into the midway break in the competition level on top of the log with 14 points.