Sisanda Magala took his maiden five-wicket haul in Twenty20 cricket as the Warriors recorded a vital 25-run win over the Highveld Lions at St George’s Park.
Magala recorded figures of 5 for 28 – the second best by a Warriors bowler in Twenty20 competition – to restrict the Lions to 130-9 in pursuit of a target of 156 in their Ram Slam match on Friday night.
The result consigned the Lions to a third straight defeat, while the Warriors now sit third on the table with two wins from four games.
While the Warriors made the worst possible start to the game when Jon-Jon Smuts was caught behind off Bjorn Fortuin from the very first ball, they recovered beautifully as Colin Ackermann and Colin Ingram turned the game in a 96-run stand for the second wicket.
Both batsmen scored fluidly, with Ingram making 52 from 36 balls before he fell trying to reverse sweep Eddie Leie, while Ackermann went on to finish unbeaten on 79 from 59 deliveries.
The Warriors innings was somewhat derailed after Ingram departed, with Aaron Phangiso dismissing Yaseen Vallie and Christiaan Jonker in consecutive overs to leave Ackermann doing all the heavy hitting late on.
The home side’s total of 155-4 looked within reach for the Lions when Rassie van der Dussen and Devon Conway put on 49 for the first wicket in a little more than five overs, but Magala broke that stand when he bowled Conway for 23, and then grabbed the wickets of pinch hitter, Hardus Viljoen, and Andre Malan.
The Lions fell to 60 for four as a result, but were back in the game when Van der Dussen and Thami Tsolekile put on 51 to take the visitors into the final five overs needing 45 to win with six wickets in hand.
This time Ackermann made the timely intervention, dismissing Van der Dussen for 56 (44 balls, 3x4s, 2x6s), before Magala and Smuts picked up two wickets apiece to hammer the nail into the Lions’ coffin.