Johannesburg - A superb three-wicket haul from Hardus Viljoen capped a fine bowling display by the table-topping Highveld Lions as they eased to a comprehensive 47-run victory over the Warriors in their T20 Challenge match in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
The fast bowler picked up three for 12 in four overs and also sent down a maiden as the visitors were routed for 115, trying to chase down a victory target of 163.
Sohail Tanvir (two for 15) and Chris Morris (two for 30) also chipped in, with slow bowler Simon Harmer top-scoring for the visitors after an aggressive 33.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock continued his superb form with a fine 47 off 32 balls and Dwaine Pretorius struck 38 off 23 to help the Gauteng team post a competitive 162 for seven at Senwes Park.
But the Warriors provided little competition, collapsing in 18 overs and allowing the hosts to clinch a fourth win out of four in the competition.
The men from the Eastern Cape were pushed on the back foot from the outset when they lost Jon-Jon Smuts for a golden duck in the first over, driving Tanvir straight to Lions skipper Jean Symes in the covers.
New man Colin Ingram (21) managed to add 29 with Chris Jonker (11) for the second wicket, before he too picked out Symes at extra cover, this time with Morris bowling.
Viljoen then claimed three wickets in four balls - Jonker, Wayne Parnell (nought) and Adrian McLaren (one) - to leave the Warriors stunned on 38 for five.
They lost a sixth wicket before reaching their half-century as Craig Thyssen (three) top-edged Morris to Symes inside the circle, before Ashwell Prince’s 17-ball stay was ended when he was bowled by Aaron Phangiso.
The last three wickets added 52 runs, but it was too late to threaten the rampant Lions, who had started the game in fine fashion.
De Kock and Gulam Bodi (27) had blasted a 53-run opening stand after the Lions lost the toss and were asked to bat first.
Parnell, the pick of the bowlers with two for 23, ended the partnership by removing Bodi, before the left-arm paceman dismissed veteran Neil McKenzie for six.
That was the start of a mini mid-innings collapse, with the run-outs of De Kock and Tanvir (nought), along with the removal of Symes (seven) who was bowled by Ayabulela Gqamane, leaving the Lions on 101 for five.
Pretorius and Temba Bavuma (34 not out) combined splendidly, however, for a 61-run stand from just 34 deliveries to propel their side to a competitive total, which proved more than sufficient.