Lions qualify for MTN40 semis
Johannesburg - The MTN40 semi-finalists will already be decided this weekend if the Cape Cobras and Warriors fail to win their matches on Sunday.
The Highveld Lions are already guaranteed their semi-final place following their five-wicket win over the Dolphins on Friday night. They are on 17 points in Pool B from four successive victories with the Dolphins trailing them on eight points and the Cobras yet to get off the mark.
The Cobras play the Dolphins at Boland Park on Sunday and need both a victory and then for other results to go their way through the remainder of the pool phase.
Pool A is almost as clear cut with the Titans and the Knights, who both won on Friday night against the Cobras and the Warriors respectively, on 13 points apiece. The Warriors are the defending champions and they have everything to play for against the Titans at SuperSport Park on Sunday.
The Warriors are on four points from their solitary home win.
The good news for them is that they have two of their Proteas, Colin Ingram and Rusty Theron, back from international duty and the former already made his presence felt on Friday evening with an innings of 92 off 101 balls (9 fours).
Another returning Protea in form was David Miller (42 off 43 balls with six fours and a six) for the Dolphins while Charl Langeveldt took 4/34 for the Cobras.
But the chief batting plaudits again went to the two young Knights, Reeza Hendricks (89 off 80 ball with 8 fours and 2 sixes) and Rilee Rossouw (102 not out off 96 balls with eight fours and a six). They made light work of chasing down the Warriors’ total of 229, sharing a partnership of 183, the second highest of this season’s competition.
Langeveldt’s haul was not enough to prevent the Titans from scraping home by two wickets in a low scoring match.
The Lions’ victory over the Dolphins was again based on their ability to take wickets up front. Craig Alexander and Friedel de Wet had their visitors four down 35 in 10.4 overs with Loots Bosman retired hurt into the bargain after being struck on the hand by Alexander.
The Dolphins had a difficult task in defending 196 but they were given a boost when Imran Tahir took 4 wickets in his opening spell of 4 overs. Zander de Bruyn and Thami Tsolekile, however, added an unbroken 108 for the sixth wicket to see their side home quite comfortably.