Pieter Malan’s unbeaten 94 underpinned the Cape Cobras’ One-Day Cup win over the Warriors in Port Elizabeth, ensuring a home semi-final next Wednesday.
Malan has had an excellent series, ending the league phase as the top run-scorer with 611 at an average of 67.88. He was cruelly deprived of a richly deserved hundred by rain which cut the match short with three overs to go and left the Cobras victors by 10 runs as they chased a target of 265.
He anchored the Cobras’ innings with a diligent display in which he scored just five fours off 131 balls.
He and Zubayr Hamza (31) put on 59 for the first wicket, after which George Linde went on the rampage to run up 74 off 55 balls.
There was little input down the order, but by then they had done enough, despite the efforts of Jon-Jon Smuts, who took 3-46.
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The Warriors owed their score to an excellent 120 from Gihahn Cloete, who organised a fightback from 60-4 after they chose to bat first. He found support in the No 6 batsman, Colin Ackermann, whose 45 off 45 balls helped him put on 77 for the fifth wicket.
Clyde Fortuin also dug in, contributing 36 off 40 in a partnership of 105 for the sixth as the Warriors ended with 264-7.
Cloete, who was 15 short of his previous highest first-class score, struck eight fours and five sixes off 138 balls. It must have been a bittersweet moment after the Cobras began their charge towards a home match against the Dolphins.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images