Champions League T20
Jacobs blows Stags away
Port Elizabeth - The Warriors got one foot into the semi-final round of the Champions League Twenty20 when they made it three wins out of three against the Central Stags at St. George’s Park on Saturday.
Their winning margin in a high-scoring encounter was six wickets with five balls to spare after they had been set the target of chasing down a substantial Stags’ total of 175/3.
The two semi-final places from Group A are now a three-way shootout between the Warriors, the Chennai Super Kings and the Victoria Bushrangers. The latter two sides were going head to head later on Saturday and a victory for the IPL franchise would confirm the Warriors’ semi-final place.
Once again home captain Davy Jacobs turned in a five-star performance as he smashed 74 off 47 balls and shared an opening partnership of 149 with Ashwell Prince that reduced the target to a run a ball as early as the 14th over.
The partnership was the highest in the tournament to date, beating the 122 of the other consistent opening pair, Daniel Harris and Michael Klinger, of the South Australia Redbacks. In the process Jacobs made his highest ever T20 total (his previous best was 71) and took his aggregate in this format of the game past the 1 000 mark. This is remarkable for a player who has not played in the IPL and has had only one season of county cricket in England. He has made virtually all the runs at domestic level in South Africa.
He won the man-of-the-match award while the batting award for most runs went to Stags’ captain Jamie How who carried his bat for the second match in a row to finish on 88 off 57 balls. For a while it looked as though he might make the first century of the tournament as he struck 12 fours and 3 sixes.
The other standout player for the Stags was Kieran Noema-Barnett who shared a century stand off 61 balls with How and then took a respectable 2/28 in his 4 overs. Jamie How also shared a stand of 64 for the second wicket off 38 balls with Brad Patton.
Although T20 cricket is very much a batsman’s format, the Warriors owed their victory to a large extent to their two spinners (Nicky Boje 1/21 and Johan 1/16) who becalmed the Stags for seven critical overs at the end of the powerplay.
The Warriors’ total of 181/4 was the highest successful runs chase in a T20 match at St. George’s Park.