T20 Domestic Cup
Rusty shines in Warriors win
Rusty Theron (Gallo Images)
Durban - Rusty Theron sent down a superb final over to bowl the Warriors to a narrow two-run victory over the Dolphins in their domestic T20 Challenge clash at Kingsmead in Durban on Sunday.
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The fast bowler claimed two wickets and defended the eight runs that were needed to win as the hosts, who were chasing a modest 142 for victory, ended on 139 for eight.
Proteas batsman David Miller (60 off 40 balls) and Khaya Zondo (56 off 49 balls) had both batted excellently for most of the chase to keep the home side on course for victory, but once the former fell, the lower order failed to take their side over the line.
Another national player, fast bowler Wayne Parnell, played a vital role with the ball for the Warriors by bagging three for 27.
Earlier Kyle Abbott took three for 21 to keep the Eastern Cape franchise in check after they had won the toss and batted first.
The Warriors found themselves in some early trouble after a double strike by the fast bowler, who sent key men Ashwell Prince (nought) and Colin Ingram (eight) on their way -- the former taken by a stunning one-handed slip catch from Daryn Smit.
But top-scorer Ryan Bailey, with 49 off 35 balls combined with Jon-Jon Smuts to help rebuild for their side through a partnership of 56 for the third wicket, including the 50 raised in the seventh over.
Smuts made 36 in 27 balls but then succumbed to another really good catch, this time by Miller at long-on with Prenelan Subrayen the bowler.
Davy Jacobs (14) was run out going for a run that was not there, just before the Warriors went past 100 in the 15th over.
And just as Bailey was setting himself to launch into the final overs, he was cleaned up by an express Craig Alexander delivery as the visitors limped to 141 for six.
The start to the Dolphins innings was equally as poor as Warriors' with three wickets falling and only 15 runs on the board.
But Zondo and Miller then combined for a telling fourth-wicket stand of 91.
The pair put on 50 in 35 balls, followed by Miller getting to his 14th career half century in 31 balls.
They continued to prosper and ticked the hosts past 100 in the 14th over, before Proteas batsman Miller needlessly top-edged a Lundi Mbane slower ball to Jacobs.
New batsman Smit (one) was then run out as the pressure began to build with 31 required from the last four overs.
Twelve from the penultimate over gave the hosts hope, before Theron ensured just five were taken from the last six balls when eight were needed.