The Warriors not only kept alive their chances of still qualifying for the play-offs but they opened the door for the Cape Cobras and Knights, with a stunning upset.
Dafabet Warriors 157/9
(Stubbs 44, Gqamane 37, Lubbe 35. Morris 2/26, Williams 2/23)
Multiply Titans 114/9
Warriors won by 43 runs
THE WARRIORS not only kept alive their chances of still qualifying for the play-offs in the Betway T20 Challenge, but they opened the door for the Cape Cobras and VKB Knights, with a stunning upset at Kingsmead on Wednesday.
Against a Titans side featuring eight Proteas, the Warriors, thanks to some smart batting in the middle order, and then a very disciplined bowling performance, won comfortably and picked up a bonus point in the process.
It seemed a most unlikely outcome when they slumped to 33/4 in the seventh over with JJ Smuts and Sinethemba Qeshile, two of their better batsmen in the competition, both back in the dugout.
However, Wihan Lubbe and 20 year old Tristan Stubbs, playing in just his second match, cleverly turned the innings around. They ran well between the wickets, and took calculated risks to turn overs which could have realised single figure scores into ones worth 11 and 12 runs. Between the 10th and 15th overs the Warriors scored 58 runs, providing the kind of momentum that eventually took their total beyond 150.
Following that 54-run partnership for the fifth wicket, Aya Gqamane made a lively 37 off 17 balls, hitting four fours and a six, lending a timely boost in confidence to the Warriors before they started fielding.
The Titans never got going in their pursuit of a tricky total. There will be serious concerns about their top order batting, which despite all the experience, is not giving the team the kind of starts they require.
The Warriors were outstanding in defence of their total, making smart use of the spinners up front, while Mthiwekhaya Nabe, produced a career-best performance – not just in terms of statistics – but method to, to blow away a powerful Titans team.
“Anything short stayed in the wicket, because it was easier for batters to wait and put it away. The fuller length where they had to react to the ball was the way to go,” said Nabe.
Lubbe produced the all round performance of the competition thus far, claiming the key wicket of Elgar, taking two catches – one a superb tumbling effort to get rid of Chris Morris – to go along with his critical innings of 35 earlier.
The Warriors victory, confirmed the Lions and the Dolphins’ position in the play-off with their match later on Wednesday to decide which side would finish atop the log, and thus go straight into the final.
For the remaining four team’s their chances in the tournament were kept alive, by one of the most spirited and well thought out displays by any side in the competition thusfar.