Opening duo lead Lions home
Cape Town - Alviro Peterson and Stephen Cook launched an exciting run chase to get the Highveld Lions home by nine wickets with almost four overs to spare in their SuperSport Series match against the Warriors at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was their first victory of the season and the 18.52 points they earned has put them right back in the title race.
For a long time on the final day it looked as though the Warriors might hold out for a draw as they posted a second innings total of 424 that included an innings of 143 (252 balls, 23 fours and a six) from Jon-Jon Smuts, 56 (90 balls, 8 fours) from Athenkosi Dyili and 60 (96 balls, 8 fours) from Wayne Parnell.
But in the end the first innings deficit of 283 proved too difficult to overcome.
Cliffe Deacon and Pumelela Matshikwe finished the match with six wickets each.
The Lions were set a target of 142 in 32 overs and, with the experience gained from T20 cricket, Cook and Petersen set about the task with confidence. Their opening partnership of 140 took only 26.2 overs and, by the time Petersen (72 off 87 balls, 9 fours and 2 sixes) was dismissed, the Lions were home and dry.
Cook (67 not out off 77 balls, 8 fours) finished the job.
Match referee Shaid Wadvalla named Neil McKenzie as the Man-of-the-Match for his innings of 160.
The other fixture between the Cape Cobras and the Dolphins in Cape Town ended in a predictable draw after the latter trailed by only 21 runs on the first innings and the home team did not have enough time to set any kind of target.
There were nevertheless two final-day highlights with Imraan Khan carrying his bat for 141 (382 balls, 23 fours) in the Dolphins' first innings and Vernon Philander finishing off the innings with four wickets in eight balls.
The Dolphins briefly raised hopes of an unlikely win when they captured the first two Cobra wickets in the second innings for 17 runs before the home side had little difficulty in batting out the rest of the day.
Justin Ontong (73 not out, 163 balls, 9 fours) scored his second half-century of the match.
Khan was named Man-of-the-Match by Match Referee Barry Lambson.