A flying half century by Rassie van der Dussen ensured the race for home advantage in the CSA T20 Challenge play-offs would go down to the wire after the bizhub Highveld Lions clinched a six-wicket bonus-point win over leaders the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Cape Town on Friday.
In a penultimate regular season fixture at PPC Newlands, the visitors turned in a polished display with the ball to restrict the hosts to a poor 133 for seven, before chasing down the target with 25 balls to spare.
Van der Dussen was the key man with the bat, returning to form with an unbeaten 59 (36 balls, 2 fours, 4 sixes) to leave everything to play for in Sunday’s final round.
The Lions jumped from third to first on the table, now with 24 points, one ahead of the Cobras (23) and three ahead of the Warriors (21).
And they were full value for their win after Nono Pongolo led the way impressively with the ball.
The seamer claimed one for 17 in four overs and was amongst six bowlers to pick up a wicket apiece – the pick of the others being the consistent Bjorn Fortuin (1/22) and Wiaan Mulder (1/25).
Only Jason Smith made an impact for the home side with an unbeaten 49 off 35 balls, while JP Duminy contributed 29 on his return to the side. There was another failure for Hashim Amla after he managed just 10.
The Lions lost Reeza Hendricks (2) early in the chase, but 26 apiece from Ryan Rickelton and Temba Bavuma were more than enough support for Van der Dussen.
He completed his 21st T20 50 and batted right through to complete a fine comeback effort for his side, just two days after they suffered a similar fate to the Warriors in Johannesburg.
The Final Round CSA T20 Challenge Fixtures (all matches begin at 14h30):
Sunday, April 28
Warriors v VKB Knights - Buffalo Park - East London
Hollywoodbets Dolphins v WSB Cape Cobras - Kingsmead - Durban
Multiply Titans v bizhub Highveld Lions - SuperSport Park - Centurion