T20 Challenge: Warriors slump to Cobras, beat Knights to claim second spot

BY MARC JACOBSON - NOVEMBER 21, 2016

The Warriors showed mixed signals last weekend, as they slumped to the Cobras by 12 runs last Friday, before beating then-log runners-up, Knights, by 42 runs on Sunday in their week-ending T20 Challenge tour fixtures.

On Friday at Newlands, the Cobras won their first match of this season’s T20 Challenge, after batting first and setting a total of 163/8 in their 20 lot of overs, before restricting the Warriors to 151/8 in their 20 limited overs.

Fine batting performances from Protean Wayne Parnell (61) and Kieron Pollard (50) allowed the Cobras to set the stern total, which deemed enough for victory. Andrew Birch and Colin Ackermann produced some effortful bowling for the Warriors with figures of 3/28 and 2/21 respectively.

On the batting attack, the Warriors’ scorers were relatively poorly dispersed with Ackermann being the only batsman lending a decent contribution – scoring 60 off 41 balls.

On Sunday when the Warriors played another away fixture in Bloemfontein against the Knights, their bowlers did the job to win, as the batters scored a similarly opposing total of 157/5 after 20 overs in the first innings of the match.

The Eastern Cape side’s bowling attack, however, thwarted the reach of that total, as they got the Knights all out for 115 after 18.2 overs. Basheer Walters starred with the ball getting all first three top-order batsmen out and scoring bowling figures of 3/16. Jon-Jon Smuts, Andrew Birch and Sisanda Magala all took two wickets apiece for a relatively consistent bowling attack on the day.

With the bat, Christiaan Jonker (48 not out) and Smuts (38) contributed their swing the most as the Warriors reached their winning total. Jonker in particular, put up a fine batting display – with an unbeaten highest unbeaten total of the day and slamming the highest strike rate of the day of 177.77.

After three matches so far in the T20 Challenge, the Warriors have won two and are currently placed second on the log with 10 log points – eight behind log-leaders, Titans, who have now won four out of four games so far.

The Warriors are set to play Johannesburg’s Lions on Friday at St. Georges Park, Port Elizabeth, in their next T20 Challenge fixture.   

Image: Basheer Walters of the Warriors.