Momentum One-Day Cup: Warriors beat Lions at St. Georges to proceed to play-offs

BY MARC JACOBSON - MARCH 24, 2017
Momentum One-Day Cup: Warriors beat Lions at St. Georges to proceed to play-offs

In the final crunch of the Momentum One-Day Cup round-robin matches, the Warriors were able to deliver the goods as they cruised to a 36-run win, determined by the Duckward/Lewis Method, over the Lions at St. Georges Park on Thursday night.

Late in the proceedings, the game succumbed to much-needed Port Elizabeth rain, but the match saw enough showing to determine a winner from the D/L Method, this after the Warriors batted for more than 20 overs in their promising innings’ chase.

JJ Smuts, once again starring for his side, delivered with both bat and ball in a game, where winning was the only option for the Warriors to progress to the play-offs.

In tremendous form of late, Smuts' last four batting scores prior to the Lions clash, saw him score 39, 132, 173 not out and 85 respectively; and with this he again followed suit and scored a styling 51 against the Johannesburg-based sideon Thursday night.

Additionally, helping the Warriors restrict the Lions to a morbid 154 all out total, Smuts took fine 4/25 bowling figures and really lead from the front in a game at its most crucial point for the prospects of the competition.

Colin Ingram and Sisanda Magala also both took two wickets each with 2/12 and 2/25 figures respectively.

With the bat, Mangaliso Mosehle (39), Dominic Hendricks (37) and Wihan Lubbe (31) contributed the most for the Lions.

In their opening batting stanza, the foundation was already set for the Warriors when Smuts and Gihahn Cloete set a stern 93-run stand, then needing just 62 runs for victory. Bowling exceptionally for the Lions, Lubbe broke the ice when he picked off both Smuts and Cloete in just 11 balls apart both for LBWs.

Lubbe achieved decent figures of 3/25 and had also contributed with a sharp direct-throw run out of Ingram.

With the match unable to finish due to rain, the Warriors stood on 123/4 after 32 overs and at this stand-point, the home side knew that if they were not to resume, they would still come out winners due to the D/L algorithmic calculation.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Warriors attention would have rested on the outcome between the Knights and the Dolphins, as they played each other until the death at Kingsmead in Durban – for which the loser would fall out and the winner, ascertaining second-spot on the standings.

In a nail-biting affair, the Knights came out just on top, winning by one wicket in the final over of the game.

Prior to the Lions match-up, the Warriors were fourth, but the victory climbed them up to third, meaning they will now play an away play-off against the Knights (second) in the Bloemfontein on Sunday.

The winner in the play-off will play the Final against the first-placed Titans in Centurion on Friday, 31st of March.  

Image: JJ Smuts.