Half-centuries by Nicky van den Bergh and Delano Potgieter set the Lions on their way to a thumping 87-run bonus-point win over the Knights in their latest One-Day Cup outing in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
There were also strangling spells of bowling by spin duo Bjorn Fortuin and Aaron Phangiso as 275-9 played 188 all out at the Wanderers, where victory helped the hosts close the gap on log-leaders the Dolphins to four points, with a game in hand.
Van den Bergh first led the way with the bat by scoring an attacking 91 (112 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes), before veteran Phangiso ramped up the heat with the ball by claiming 4-30 – with strong support coming via Fortuin (2-34).
It completed a big win for the home side and one that keeps them in the hunt for top spot on the competition log well and truly alive.
The Lions were full value for the win, although they had to work hard early on after slumping to 38-3 when they lost the toss and were put in to bat.
A 51-run fourth-wicket stand between Van den Bergh and Wihan Lubbe (32) got things going, before the former and Potgieter, who hit 69 (71 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes), put on 121 together for the next wicket to complete an excellent recovery.
The Lions did lose their way towards the end with Mbulelo Budaza finishing as the pick of the bowlers with 4-45.
The Knights made a blistering start to the chase thanks to half-centuries from Jacques Snyman (54 off 34 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) and Andries Gous (7 fours).
Between the two of them, the Knights managed to reach 160-4 at one stage, before dramatically folding.
Phangiso and Fortuin then turned the screw, and together with Beuran Hendricks (3-47), cleaned up the tail and left the Central Franchise all out in 42 overs.
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