Half-centuries by Matthew Breetzke and Jade de Klerk helped the Warriors take a big step towards the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-finals with an upset six-run win over the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in East London on Sunday.
The former struck 55 off 61 balls (4 fours, 2 sixes) and the latter a thrilling career-best 50 off 38 balls (4 fours, 2 sixes) as the hosts piled up 293 for nine at Buffalo Park.
Despite a match-high 71 (65 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes) from Cody Chetty and Grant Roelofsen’s 50 (67 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes), the runaway leaders from KwaZulu-Natal could only managed 287 all out in reply to slip to just a second loss of the campaign.
It meant that that they have to wait until Tuesday when the second-placed Imperial Lions travel to the VKB Knights to find out whether they will end top of the table.
Alternately, the Dolphins, on 30 points, can seal the number one position and with it a home final should they get there with victory over the Lions (22) points when they go head-to-head in the final match next Friday.
Although Imraan Khan’s charges fell short in the Eastern Cape, it was another credible display and one that showed just why they had won seven out of eight before the start.
But after winning the toss and bowling, they allowed the home side to set nearly 300.
The top eight batsmen all had starts, with captain Eddie Moore’s 19 the lowest score amongst them. Breetzke’s half-century was the highest score, with Yaseen Vallie (35) and Lesiba Ngoepe (32) getting 30s, before De Klerk exploded at the end with his highest score at List A level, which beat his previous best of 31 at provincial level.
The Dolphins’ steady spinners, captain Prenelan Subrayen (2/46) and Senuran Muthusamy (1/38) were again extremely effective.
The chase then began well for the log leaders as they reached 93 for one 144 for two thanks to Roelofsen and Marques Ackerman (43).
Chetty ensured they were still ahead of the game at 198 for three in the 35th over, but they then lost their way when De Klerk (1/57) struck.
The Warriors then began to chip away regularly – Stefan Tait (2/46) and Sisanda Magala (2/78) bagging two wickets each – as the Dolphins came up short.