Mighty Warriors outplay Knights

SMASHING IT: Warriors captain Jon-Jon Smuts during their match against the Knights last night Picture: BRIAN WITBOOI
SMASHING IT: Warriors captain Jon-Jon Smuts during their match against the Knights last night

Eastern Cape side rack up fourth win in five games in T20 Challenge

The Warriors racked up another impressive team victory in thumping the Knights by eight wickets in their CSA T20 Challenge cricket fixture at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth last night.

Chasing a paltry 94 for victory, the Warriors romped home with 52 balls to spare and only two wickets down.

It was a supremely commanding bonus-point performance and one which would have sent a strong message to opposition teams heading into the remainder of the competition.

It also presented the Eastern Cape franchise with its fourth win in five games.

Captain Jon-Jon Smuts wasted no time in chasing the target down, scoring 49 not out in only 35 balls, with seven fours and two sixes. Colin Ingram added a quick-fire 23 to help speed matters along.

The Knights bowlers tried manfully, but they just did not have enough runs to defend.

They did pick up the wicket of Somila Seyibokwe, well-caught by Theunis de Bruyn off the bowling of Shadley van Schalkwyk for 11, and Aubrey Swanepoel dismissed Colin Ingram, but for the remainder they were merely outplayed.

Warriors coach Malibongwe Maketa said last week the team had targeted their two home games for victories, and they achieved both with aplomb.

On Friday, they beat the Highveld Lions by six wickets with two overs to spare, and last night they wiped the floor with the Knights.

Maketa also keeps saying that it is about their collective effort and not about individuals. And so it was again last night, as all the players chipped in with contributions.

Earlier, the Warriors produced a superb collective effort with the ball to roll the Knights for a dismal 93.

The Knights never looked up for it but for the third over of the innings.

The visitors won the toss and opted to bat.

In the third over, Patrick Kruger punished Andrew Birch to good effect as he smashed five fours in the over to inject some thrust into the Knights’ innings.

But that is about as good as it got for the Knights as they lost steady wickets in a limp capitulation, which was not easy on the eye.

Admittedly, there was invariable bounce, but there were also some forgettable shots played.

The occasion called for straight-bat batting up front, but the Knights showed little regard for using that tactic.

All the Warriors spinners Colin Ackermann and Jon-Jon Smuts did was bowl wicket-to-wicket, and they did so with great success.

They bowled their collective eight overs for only 30 runs, while taking two wickets each.

Birch took two scalps at the death, while Aya Gqamane – back in the side in place of Solo Nqweni – took two of his own.

The only shining light in the Knights’ innings was Patrick Kruger, who raced to 37 off only 26 balls, including seven fours.

But when Gqamane claimed his wicket, the remainder of his teammates followed in a dismal procession.

Sisanda Magala completed the rout by grabbing his 50th competition wicket by bowling Lwandiswa Zuma for two.

The Warriors travel next to Centurion to take on the log-leading Titans tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, Cameron Delport scored a quick-fire half century as the Dolphins secured a much-needed six-wicket victory over the Titans at Kingsmead in Durban.

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