File photo – JJ Smuts went about chasing 217 with gusto © AFP
JJ Smuts lashed nine sixes in his 107 off 58 balls in East London, where Warriors chased down a target of 217 with an over to spare against Dolphins. The result kept Warriors within two points of Titans, the table leaders.
Warriors lost opener Clyde Fortuin for a duck in the first over of the imposing chase, but Smuts and Colin Ingram made light of that setback. They added 107 in nine overs before Ingram was out for 55 off 26, lbw to Imran Tahir. Colin Ackerman fell cheaply, but Christiaan Jonker made an unbeaten 36 off 20 balls in a partnership of 88 with Smuts to complete the seven-wicket victory.
Smuts’ performance meant that for a second successive game Kevin Pietersen made a half-century in defeat. Pietersen had scored 79 in Dolphins’ loss against Cobras on December 4, and against Warriors he clobbered 81 off 46 with six sixes. His partnership of 145 for the second wicket with opener Morne van Wyk, who made 77 off 52, led Warriors to 216 for 5. Of the 14 bowlers used at Buffalo Park, only Smuts conceded less than 8.50 per over, finishing with figures of 0 for 23 in four overs for Warriors.
A powerful batting performance at Supersport Park helped Titans beat Lions by 46 runs and open up a two-point lead at the top of the league. Opener Jonathan Vandiar headlined the show, smacking 67 off 41 balls, but the thrust that spurred Titans to 230 for 5 came from their middle and lower order. Heinrich Klassen made 26 off 15, Heino Kuhn 29 off 11, Albie Morkel 32 off 17, Farhaan Behardien 19 off 9, and David Wiese 17 off 5. Though Titans did not have big individual scores, their relentless hitting ensured that all the Lions bowlers, except for Bjorn Fortuin, went for over eight an over.
Rassie van der Dussen got the Lions chase off to a cracking start, his 45 off 18 balls charging them to 53 before he fell in the fifth over. The chase fell away after that – only Temba Bavuma passed 30 – with batsmen failing to convert starts and score at the same intensity that Titans did. Malusi Siboto took three top order wickets for Titans, but it was Wiese’s spell of 1 for 21 in four overs that was the bowling performance of the match.
Wayne Parnell led a Cobras bowling performance that set up victory against Knights in a low-scoring contest in Cape Town, after the 200-plus run fests in the other two games. Parnell took 3 for 20 in four overs, Kieron Pollard 2 for 18 in three, and Rory Kleinveldt 1 for 21 in four. Patrick Kruger and Theunis de Bruyn, who made 52, took Knights to 94 for 1 in the 12th over, but they fell away after that, losing 7 for 52 to finish with 146 for 8.
Richard Levi’s 58 off 32 balls led the Cobras chase. He put on 78 for the first wicket with Wayne Parnell, who scored 34. Pollard smashed 39 off 12 balls to complete an eight-wicket victory with 32 balls to spare.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo