After losing three of their first four matches, Geoffrey Toyana’s side have now won three on the bounce, lifting them to third on T20 Challenge standings.
While Rassie van der Dussen’s 25-ball 50 gave them the platform for their 157 all out, it was the efforts of Hardus Viljoen and the spinners with the ball that allowed them to stay ahead in the game.
Proteas speedster Viljoen notched up figures of 3-16 from his four overs, including a maiden in the fifth over, before Eddie Leie picked up three wickets in the space of six balls. Impressive young all-rounder Bjorn Fortuin, who took 4-39 in their win over the Knights on Friday, weighed in with 2-22.
The Warriors fought hard towards the end and came closer than the Lions would have wanted them to.They needed as many as 55 runs off the last five overs with four wickets in hand at one point, but Andrew Birch kept them in with a shout with 30 off 19, before the tail collapsed around him.
Van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks (25) got the Johannesburg side off to a flyer, shooting to 76 off the first eight overs. That’s when part-time bowling pair Colin Ingram and Colin Ackermann came into the attack and changed everything, removing both openers in consecutive overs as they took five wickets between them.
Birch, the leading wicket taker by some distance with 17, took a miserly 1-13 from 2.4 overs as the Lions battled to 157.
Gihahn Cloete (7) lost his wicket early in response, before Ingram (47) put his all-round skills to use with 18 runs off Dwaine Pretorius’s first over of the innings. He kept the side on track and Ingram found a willing foil in Christiaan Jonker who blasted three sixes for his 29-ball 35, but they both fell in the space of 10 balls to leave too big a battle to handle.
It ended the Warriors’ four-match winning streak, but it still keeps them in a healthy second place.
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