AN unbroken 128-run stand between Rassie van der Dussen and Dominic Hendricks proved decisive as the bizhub Highveld Lions booked their place in the Momentum One-Day Cup final with a comfortable eight-wicket Duckworth/Lewis win over the Warriors in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Opener Van der Dussen struck a commanding 83 (89 balls, 1 six, 6 fours) to set the early foundations, while Hendricks added later impetus with his attacking 70 (56 balls, 2 sixes, 7 fours) to aid their side to comfortably chase down the revise 174 target with 18 deliveries to spare.
There were two lengthy rain delays that also influenced the game. The first one arrived early in the Warriors’ innings – after 10.4 overs to be precise – forcing the match to be reduced to a 41 overs per side affair.
By that stage, the Warriors had lost both openers for 27 and they were dealt a further double blow after the resumption when Nono Pongolo removed key middle-order pair, captain Colin Ingram (10), and Yaseen Vallie (14), to slip to 61/4.
An 89-run stand between Jerry Nqolo, who struck a career best 63 (68 balls, 4 fours, 1 six), and Christiaan Jonker (42) lifted the Eastern Cape side to 202/8.
Pongolo (2/25) was one of four bowlers to take two wickets each. The others were Dwaine Pretorius (2/23), Hardus Viljoen (2/42) and Aaron Phangiso (2/38).
Andrew Birch, with 2/34, then grabbed the big wickets of Stephen Cook (13) and Alviro Petersen (2) to raise the Warriors’ hopes.
But that was as good as it got for the visitors. Another long delay 13.5 overs into the innings and with the total on 81 meant there was a further adjustment to the total and with only 93 needed from 18.1 overs, the hosts cruised home.
They will now face the Cape Cobras in the competition finale at PPC Newlands this Sunday.