Warriors 138 for 3 (Ingram 56*) beat Lions 136 for 7 (Hendricks 32, Ingram 2-24) by seven wickets
Colin Ingram struck a half-century to lead the Warriors to victory (file photo) © Getty Images
Colin Ingram‘s unbeaten 56 saw the Warriors qualify for their first T20 final in five seasons since the 2011-12 summer. The Warriors finished second in the league phase and beat the third-placed Lions in a playoff on a slow Port Elizabeth pitch to set up a meeting with the table-topping Titans on Friday.
The home side had their bowlers to thank for setting up a straightforward chase after the Lions squandered a strong start. They slipped from 77 for 2 at the halfway stage to add just 59 runs in the last 10 overs, in which they also lost four wickets for 10 runs. None of the Lions batsmen scored more than 32 runs.
Rassie van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks put on 30 in the first three overs but Kyle Abbott pulled them back with a strangling second over which exposed the Lions’ batsmen. They played as though they were at altitude but the big hits did not get over the boundary. Van der Dussen swung and missed, Temba Bavuma and Hendricks swung and holed out and it was up to the middle order to post a competitive total.
Mangaliso Mosehle looked likeliest to anchor the second-half of the innings but was bowled by Jon-Jon Smuts and that sparked the collapse. Nicky van den Burgh went back to an Ingram delivery and missed the cut shot while Wiaan Mulder and Hardus Viljoen were dismissed in the space of three balls in the penultimate over to leave the Lions well short of a winning total.
Warriors paced their chase well and even though they lost Smuts in the third over and Clyde Fortuin as the Powerplay came to an end, they were in a strong position at 48 for 2. Ingram had only faced nine balls at that stage and was content to rotate strike and let his team-mates attack while he settled in.
None of the Lions’ attack was able to maintain the control needed to put pressure on the Warriors and Ingram bided his time until he was joined by Christiaan Jonker. With the right mix of aggression and caution, the pair put on 78 runs off 64 balls and eased the Warriors to victory with 10 balls to spare. Ingram’s fifty came off 43 balls and was his third of the tournament. Smuts continued to lead the run charts, 14 ahead of Farhaan Behardien, who he will go head-to-head against in the final.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo