Champions League T20
Warriors crush South Australia
Hyderabad - The Chevrolet Warriors made it three out of three for the two Cricket South Africa (CSA) franchises when they outplayed the South Australian Redbacks to score a 50-run victory in their second Nokia Champions League T20 match here on Sunday.
The Warriors have taken control of Group B for the time being with two wins out of two while their margin of victory gives them a strongly positive net run rate of 1.28 which could be worth an extra point if this group comes down to a tight finish at semi-final qualification time.
As it is, one more victory either against the Kolkata Knight Riders or England’s Somerset should see them through to the semis.
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras won their opening match in Group A on Saturday with almost three overs and seven wickets in hand, which has also given them a very strong start.
Man-of-the-match Jon-Jon Smuts took his Warriors career to a new level with this performance which saw him score an outstanding 88 off 65 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixes. He then backed it up by taking a valuable wicket with his left-arm spin.
Along the way he shared partnerships of 73 for the second wicket with Colin Ingram and 80 for the third with Mark Boucher. Remarkably both these partnerships came in 8.4 overs (52 balls) and set the Warriors up for their total of 171/5 after they had won the toss.
It was only the second time that Smuts had passed 50 in a T20 match and it was the highest score yet for the Warriors in this format, beating the 84 Tyron Henderson made against the bizhub Highveld Lions in 2004.
It represented a remarkable turnaround of form for the 23-year-old (he celebrated his birthday four days ago) after a disappointing tour of Australia for the SA Emerging Squad on which he made only 29 runs in four innings in the three-day competition.
What was particularly impressive was the manner in which he took on Shaun Tait, the spearhead of the South Australian attack, who conceded 53 runs in his four overs. He also took a liking to the trio of spinners and dominated all around the ground.
With an above par total behind them the Warriors took a stranglehold on the match when Lonwabo Tsotsobe took two wickets in his first two overs and then Rusty Theron got rid of danger man Callum Ferguson shortly afterwards. It meant the Redbacks could not take advantage of the power play overs and were three down for 35 after six overs.
The rest of the Warriors bowlers kept up the pressure with wickets falling at regular intervals, resulting in them only conceding 25 runs in the five ‘death’ overs.
Tsotsobe finished with 2/30 including 10 dot balls while Wayne Parnell took 1/17 in 4 (12 dot balls), Theron 1/21 in 4 (8 dot balls) and captain Johan Botha 1/11 in 3 (7 dot balls).Teams: Chevrolet Warriors:
JT Smuts, AG Prince, CA Ingram, MV Boucher (wk), KR Smuts, J Botha (capt), CA Thyssen, N Boje, WD Parnell, J Theron, LL Tsotsobe South Australian Rebacks:
DJ Harris, M Klinger (capt), CJ Borgas, CJ Ferguson, DT Christian, TLW Cooper, TP Ludeman (wk), AW O'Brien, AU Rashid, NM Lyon, SW Tait