• Warriors keep playoff hopes alive

    The Warriors improved their chances alive of qualifying for the CSA T20 Challenge semi-finals by beating the Knights by 14 runs in Durban on Thursday.

    In the final pool match for both sides, Knights skipper Pite van Biljon won the toss and elected to field first at Kingsmead.

    The Warriors openers made a good start with the bat, Jon-Jon Smuts and Gihahn Cloete putting on a half-century stand for the opening wicket. A flurry of wickets, however, tumbled as the Warriors slumped to 66-4.

    Lesiba Ngoepe kept the run rate alive by hitting 41 off 30 deliveries, while a couple of the Warriors’ lower-order batsmen chipped in to guide them to a decent 157-8 in their 20 overs.

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    The Knights run chase got off to worst possible start, though, when Patrick Kruger was run out off the very first delivery.

    Matthew Kleinveldt and Raynard van Tonder got things back on track and added a 52-run partnership for the third wicket before the latter was bowled by Anrich Nortje for 12.

    Jonathan Vandiar made two, Van Biljon five, Wandile Makwetu one and Migael Pretorius only three as the Knights’ innings fell apart within a few overs.

    The Bloemfontein men were left reeling on 67-6, but Van Tonder managed to keep them in the game as he took the attack to the Warriors bowlers. The batsman struck a few big blows, reaching his half-century in the process.

    Unfortunately, he ran out of partners at the other end and that hampered the Knights chances of sealing a heroic win. Mthiwekhaya Nabe claimed 3-19, Marco Jansen 2-30 and Nortje 2-17 as the Knights were dismissed for 143, despite Van Tonder ending unbeaten on 81.

    Defeat means the end of the Knights’ campaign, who finish bottom of the log, while the Warriors’ fate will rest on tomorrow’s matches between the Dolphins and Titans, and the Cobras and Lions. The Cobras, though, need a bonus-point victory to have a chance of qualifying, while a win will be enough for the Titans to go through.

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    Andre Huisamen