Epic fight sees Warriors home
Ashwell Prince (Gallo Images)
East London - A hurricane 73 not out by Man of the Match Jon-Jon Smuts and a magnificent 136 by Ashwell Prince, helped the Warriors grab an exciting six-wicket win against the Eagles on the fourth and final day of their SuperSport match at Buffalo Park here Sunday.
Set a sporting target of 350 in 60 overs, the home team cantered home with just 14 balls to spare on a placid pitch to garner 15.30 valuable bonus points from a match which appeared to be heading nowhere by lunch-time on the last day.
But, after lunch, Boeta Dippenaar attacked the bowling and scored a quick 27 before declaring four overs after the interval, dangling the carrot for the home team. The Eagles scored 273 for six declared - the third declaration of the match which had been reduced to three days after rain washed out the first day's play.
Immediately, Warriors opener Michael Smith responded, crashing fours to all corners of the field and racing to his half-century, with Prince acting as anchor man.
Then, when Smith was out for 63 with 10 fours at 115 for one wicket, Prince took over and showed all his experience as he guided the Warriors to victory along with Smuts.
The younger man had scored a career-highest 150 not out in the first innings and just continued where he left off Saturday, racing to his fifty and smashing seven fours in an entertaining knock. Prince and Smuts added 137 off just 20 overs to keep the momentum moving.
Colin Ingram with 39 (7x4) and Craig Thyssen with 23 not out (2x4, 1x6) also played their part in the win. Thyssen hit the winning shot, a towering six over mid-wicket off Victor Mpitsang.
Earlier in the day, Reeza Hendricks took his overnight 53 not out to a solid 109 with 12 fours and a six, and he was well supported by Rilee Rossouw (45) and Ryan Bailey, who scored 59.
The game itself was a fine advert for attacking cricket played in the right spirit and both captains, Davy Jacobs and Dippenaar must be congratulated for their enterprising play.