Bloemfontein - Jon-Jon Smuts returned the remarkable figures of 4 for 4 as the Warriors got
off the mark in the One Day Cup with a 64-run victory over the Knights at the Diamond Oval on Saturday.
On a slow pitch that suited the spinners, Smuts enjoyed the most success among
a successful Warriors attack as they bowled the Knights out for just 121.
Warriors had appeared likely to register their third straight defeat
they were bowled out for 185, but instead they walked away from the
fixture with a bonus-point win thanks to the spin trio of Smuts, Simon
Harmer and Colin Ingram.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Warriors innings was a case
of many minor contributions, with nobody managing more than Smuts’ 33 at the top of the order.
partnership passed the 38 put on by Andrew Birch (24) and Sisanda
(23) for the eighth wicket, and the difficult batting conditions were
summed up by Dillon du Preez’s figures of 3 for 18 from 10 overs.
Shadley van Schalkwyk took 3/37 in 8.5 overs, while Marchant de Lange was the
only bowler to concede more than five runs per over.
The Knights were on track to overhaul their target when they reached 81/2 after
21 overs, but from that moment on the Warriors spinners took control of the game.
Ingram dismissed Leus du Plooy and Diego Rosier, before Smuts claimed the key
wicket of top scorer Pite van Biljon for 43 as the Knights crashed to 97/5.
The wickets continued to tumble from that point on, as Harmer removed Van Schalkwyk
and Aubrey Swanepoel, and Smuts quickly cleaned up the tail.
The result left all of the franchises evenly placed in the early rounds of
the competition, with only the Dolphins registering two wins thus far.
Warriors will host the Cobras at the City Oval on Sunday, while the Titans take on the Highveld Lions at SuperSport Park.