The Warriors kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the Ram Slam T20 play-offs by beating the Cape Cobras by 12 runs in East London on Wednesday night.
With just two wins out of seven at the start of this game, they have to win every match. The Cobras, meanwhile, had been looking to consolidate their second place on the log, but in the end the only point of interest was the emergence of Wayne Parnell at the top of the order.
He was promoted to opening batsman on Sunday, when Richard Levi was laid low by a freak accident, being hit on the head by a ball being returned from the outfield.
Parnell seized the opportunity to score 99 and take the Cobras to a three-wicket win over the Highveld Lions.
He was at it again against the Warriors, smashing the match’s top score of 74 off 60 balls, with seven fours and a six. Sadly, none of his teammates pitched up after being set a target of 154 to win. The next best score was Justin Kemp’s 20 off 15 balls in a stand o 46 for the fourth wicket.
The Warriors had elected to bat and set off as if they had something better to do: they lost Gihahn Cloete to the fourth ball of the innings, bowled by Rory Kleinveld, but then Colin Ingram smashed a six on his arrival to set the tone. He added another off Kleinveld in the third over before top-edging a sky-high catch for Andrew Puttick to take. he had scored 18 off 14 balls with a four and two sixes.
Then by the end of the powerplay, the Warriors were three down for 38, losing Somila Seyibokwe for one.
Colin Ackermann and Jon-Jon Smuts had to consolidate, putting on 30 runs in 28 balls. Ackermann then went on a slog to be caught at mid-off, leaving the Warriors in the shaky position of 69-4 , at the halfway stage. Smuts and David White struggled on to 115-4 after 17, but then Mthokozisi Shezi’s left-arm medium pacers dismissed White (30 off 28 balls), and Magala (0) in the 18th over. He repeated the feat in the final over as the Warriors threw the bat at it, taking out Andrew Birch (2) and Clyde Fortuin (0) to end with 5-34.
Smuts remained unbeaten on 61, off 40 balls with five fours and three sixes.
The result took the Warriors into fourth place on the table with 14 points – four behind the Dolphins and six behind the Cobras, who have both played an extra game.
With the Dolphins hosting the Cobras on Friday, whoever loses that game will leave themselves vulnerable to being overhauled by the Warriors, who travel to the Knights and the Lions in their final two games.