SIMON Harmer starred with both bat and ball as the Chevrolet Warriors beat the Bizhub Highveld Lions by 26 runs in the RAM Slam Twenty20 triple-header yesterday.
Harmer’s 38 not out from 26 balls hauled the Warriors to a respectable score of 140 for seven on day three of the Cell C Festival of Cricket at Sahara Park Newlands.
Harmer then followed that up by taking two for 22 in four overs as the Lions were bowled out for 114.
The Warriors’ decision to bat first appeared to have backfired when Chris Morris achieved prodigious swing and recorded a double-wicket maiden in his second over.
The only thing which delayed the fall of wickets was rain, to which no overs were lost, as the Warriors slumped to 54 for six after 10 overs.
But Ryan Bailey made the most of his good fortune after he was dropped by Hardus Viljoen off the bowling of Imran Tahir. Bailey hit 61 off 54 balls to keep things ticking over until Harmer provided the late assault.
A target of 141 looked achievable for the Lions, who took the cautious approach up front as they reached 50 in 53 balls for the loss of one wicket.
But Jon-Jon Smuts turned that plan on its head when he grabbed the wickets of Rassie van der Dussen, Azhar Mahmood and Neil McKenzie.
With Alviro Petersen run out and Harmer grabbing a couple of wickets in his final two overs, the game was up but the Lions did squeeze out a few more runs to deny the Warriors a bonus point.
Meanwhile, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Khaya Zondo shared a recordbreaking fifth-wicket partnership to lead the Sunfoil Dolphins to a handsome victory over The Unlimited Titans in the opening game of the triple-header at Newlands. Van Jaarsveld and Zondo came together with the Dolphins struggling on 37 for four in the eighth over.
They put on an unbroken stand of 117 – the highest fifth-wicket partnership in domestic Twenty20 games.
That carried the Dolphins to a total of 154 for four as Van Jaarsveld smashed seven sixes in his unbeaten 82. Zondo finished 41 not out, before the Titans fell short at 146 for seven.
Although the final scoreline suggested a tight game, in truth the Titans’ chase never really took off, thanks largely to some superb bowling up front by Kyle Abbott, who took two for one in his opening two overs.
An in-form Faf du Plessis did his best to resurrect the innings before he fell to Craig Alexander for 24.
Then David Wiese tried to bring the game back to life with a hard-hitting 42 from 24 balls down the order.
However, there were still 28 runs required from the final over, which Abbott was in no mood to permit.
Wiese was run out and Abbott finished with two for 21.
In the late match, seamer Beuran Hendricks took six wickets for 29 runs to lead the Cobras to a nine-run victory over the Knights. – Staff Correspondent