Brave Cobras crash in Paarl
Aggressive Warriors on their way to the final
EXCELLENT death bowling by Rusty Theron and Wayne Parnell, allied to to century stands for the first and fifth wickets, saw the Warriors reach the final of the MTN 40 competition by beating the Cape Cobras by nine runs in the semi-final at Paarl last night.
The Warriors first compiled an impressive total of 274 for four wickets, then limited the Cobras to 265 for eight as Theron grabbed 4/48 to move to 19 wickets in the competition.
Parnell, this week signed by the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL for R4.5 million, showed his worth in the final overs of the match by drying up the runs just as the Cobras needed a couple of big overs. He finished with 1/43, but his contribution went much further than those figures suggest.
The Cobras were not far off the target, but a couple of soft dismissals early on, then losing two wickets in the 35th over saw them lose impetus.
Top-scorer for the Cobras was captain Justin Kemp, whose 71 off 55 balls (eight fours and a six) kept his side in the contest for a while until he went lbw to Theron in the 35th over, four balls before Rory Kleinveldt (nought). Others to spark were Andrew Puttick (41 off 38 balls, eight fours) and JP Duminy (40 off 42 balls, three fours and a six), but a top performer should have batted the innings.
Earlier the Cobras were average in the field, with a couple of catches going down. And, in and a lacklustre last five overs, they conceded 67 runs. And they will not want reminding that last night's defeat was their second in a semi-final this season, after the Champions League experience in Hyderabad, India, in October.
The Warriors started with a brisk collaboration between openers Justin Kreusch and Ashwell Prince. The pair were able to pick up boundaries regularly, Kreusch following up his century of Sunday against the Lions by hitting 60 off 59 balls. Prince made up for his recent dip in form by contributing a run-a-ball 48 before becom- ing the first batsman to go out.
Prince had a let-off on 27, when wicketkeeper Andrew Puttick dived left but could not hold on to the outside edge off Vernon Philander.
At that point the Warriors were on 62/0, and the openers went on to add 104 runs off 97 balls before Prince lofted a drive off Test teammate Duminy straight to national captain Graeme Smith at deep mid-off. Duminy's credibility as an off-spinner continues to grow, and he forced the loss of the second wicket when Colin Ingram pushed one of his deliveries into the covers, set off for a single and saw Kreusch run out.
Prince hit six fours and Kreusch slammed five boundaries and a glorious straight six off Rory Kleinveldt, in the fifth over of the innings.
All the Warriors batsmen bar Mark Boucher (three) made good contributions. No 3 batsman Colin Ingram hit three fours in his 42-ball knock of 35 before he slog-swept spinner Robin Peterson straight to Kleinveldt at midwicket, with the total on 159. Five balls and four runs later Boucher was brilliantly caught by a diving Gibbs at point, and the Warriors were on 163/4.
Man of the match Jacques Kallis and Jacobs then went about their business in an unhurried way, even though they seemed to have missed a trick or two during the two five-over batting power-plays, taken between overs 26 and 35. The power-plays delivered 32 runs each, with only the 26th over realising double figures - 11 runs.
But the fifth-wicket pair kept their heads and cashed in.
The Cobras used four bowlers to bowl the final five overs, and none of them could stem the run-flow. Stalwart Charl Langeveldt leaked 17 in the 39th over - Jacobs cutting a four and pulling a six among other shots - and Kleinveldt went for 16 in the 40th over, which included a flattish driven six by Kallis through the covers to bring up the 100-run partnership.
Kallis ended undefeated on 73 off 55 balls, with six fours and two sixes, while Jacobs contributed 47 not out off 34 balls with four fours and a six. Their partnership was worth 111 runs off 76 balls, with 58 of the runs coming in boundaries.
The other semi-final, between the Titans and the Dolphins, takes place at Centurion tomorrow.