Ricochet News

Momentum One-Day Cup: Resilient bowling books Warriors a place in Final

By Marc Jacobson - Mar 28, 2017
Momentum One-Day Cup: Resilient bowling books Warriors a place in Final

A resilient and determined bowling attack from the Warriors managed to restrict the Knights, evermore as each over enclosed on the proceedings, with the Eastern Cape side eventual winners by 18 runs, to book a place in the Momentum One-Day Cup Final against the Titans at Centurion on Friday.

Batting in fitting tandem with that of the Warriors’ run-rate in the first innings, the Knights were well on-track to getting the total, but a close-call it did always remain until the final concluding overs, when the bowlers eventually got the better of the home side at the Manguang Oval in Bloemfontein on Monday night.

To be precise, on the 45th over in each of their respective innings, both sides stood at 200/4 exactly – with a much anticipated and nail-biting finish on the cards. It was the Warriors’ attack, however, that did not buckle and succumb to pressure, as their bowlers instead, improved on their onslaught from earlier on in the innings.

Through sharp block-hole, well pointed line and length and aggressive bowling in Andrew Birch, Anrich Nortje, Sisanda Magala, Basheeru Walters and JJ Smuts’ spin, the bowlers did the job to restrict the Knights for 231/6 in 50 overs – behind the Warriors’ total of 249/6.

The score speaks for itself, it was not the pick of more wickets that cost the Knights, but rather clinical bowling from the Warriors.

Birch, however bowled exceptionally to beat Protean smasher, David Miller, for 52 and exceptional fielding some eight overs later from Colin Ackermann saw him prevent a six by catching the ball, flicking the ball back into the field, before advancing again to catch it again to get Keegan Petersen out for 83 – as the momentum then evidently completely shifted.

The wicket of Petersen was bowled by Walters, as he showed the best economy-rate of 3.60; while Birch and Nortje both took two wickets apiece with 2/52 and 2/33 figures respectively.

In the Warriors’ initial score projection, Colin Ingram finally came to the party after a string of single-digit scores and made a fine 83 runs. Forming a 104-run partnership, Ingram was partnered well with opener, Gihahn Cloete, who scored 60, on a wicket that was quite evidently slow.

The Warriors, however, managed to put enough on the board to beat the Knights in their own backyard – just one more to go, as they look to do the same to the Titans in Pretoria and bring the Cup back to Port Elizabeth.

The Final sees the same match-up as the T20 Challenge Final, which the Warriors lost narrowly; but now with AB de Villiers taking to the field on Friday for the Titans, they have other threats to deal with.

Image: Colin Ingram.