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Cider Watch: Back to winning ways for Kiesy’s Warriors in South Africa T20 tournament

Ram Slam t20Craig Kieswetter’s Warriors recorded their second victory in this season’s South African Ram Slam T20 Challenge yesterday afternoon (Friday).

Warriors triumphed over Knights, the team above them in the league table, by eight wickets at Buffalo Park, East London.

Knights batted first after being put in by Warriors and lost three wickets inside the first four overs for just 19 runs. Keeper Rudi Second (48*) and Diego Rosier (25) rebuilt the innings with a partnership worth 54 in 8.4 overs, but it was left to West Indies international Andre Russell to provide some fireworks at the end to help Knights post a competitive total. Russell hit an unbeaten 57 off just 31 balls with four fours and four sixes as Knights finished on 146-4.

In reply, Warriors got off to a solid start, posting 43 runs in the first five overs, before Kieswetter was bowled by Russell for 11.

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A stand of 63 from Warriors skipper and Somerset 2014 overseas player Colin Ingram and JJ Smuts took Warriors past 100. But when Ingram fell to the first ball of the 16th over for 40, his side still required 41 runs with 29 balls remaining.

Other than a tight 18th over from Russell, which only went for four runs, Smuts and new man Christiaan Jonker made sure they kept up with the run rate. Jonker smashed a four and a six off the 19th over from Shadley van Schalkwyk, leaving Warriors needing six runs off the final over from Russell.

After the batsmen took a couple of singles, Smuts made sure of victory by hitting Russell for a six to win the match with three deliveries remaining. Smuts, who finished 73 not out off 56 balls (5×4, 3×6) was named batsman and bowler of the match (4-0-21-1): http://www.espncricinfo.com/ram-slam-t20-2014-15/engine/match/736287.html

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Two other matches, featuring former Somerset overseas players, were played in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge yesterday:

Dolphins v Cape Cobras

Richard Levi clubbed 54 off just 27 balls as Cape Cobras beat Dolphins by seven wickets at Kingsmead, Durban in a match reduced to 10 overs per side.

Set 85 to win, Cobras had already knocked 70 runs off their total by the end of the seventh over following a belligerent knock from Levi. He struck seven fours and two sixes during a 35-minute stay at the crease with a strike rate of exactly 200.

Levi fell at the beginning of the eighth over, followed by Ramela at the start of the ninth, leaving Cobras seven runs to win off 10 balls. That brought Kieron Pollard to the wicket who clipped the first ball he received off his pads through deep-square leg for four and then smashed his West Indian teammate Dwayne Bravo over mid-wicket off the second ball of the final over for six to win the match.

Earlier Pollard missed out with the ball as Dolphins reached 84-9 in their 10 overs. Only Jonathan Vandiar (33) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (29) reached double figures, with both openers dismissed without scoring in the second over: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ram-slam-t20-2014-15/engine/match/736289.html

Titans v Lions

Titans inflicted the first defeat of the tournament on league leaders Lions under the Duckworth/Lewis method after the game at Willowmoore Park, Benoni, was cut short to 16 overs a side.

Titans batted first and posted an imposing 161-6, Henry Davids top scoring with 75. Somerset’s former overseas players fared less well. Dean Elgar managed just 3, while Roelof van der Merwe was left 1 not out at the end.

Lions struggled in reply, losing West Indian star Chris Gayle (11) and Alviro Petersen (1) inside four overs. After van der Merwe (2-0-24-1) claimed the prize wicket of former South African Test star Neil McKenzie for 14, an attacking partnership of 52 in 4.3 overs from Jean Symes (57* off 32 balls) and Dwaine Pretorius started to threaten the Titans’ total. However when Pretorius fell for 27 off 14 balls, halfway through the 13th over, Lions still needed an almost unobtainable 58 runs in 3.3 overs, a task that proved beyond them: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ram-slam-t20-2014-15/engine/match/736291.html

Table

Despite suffering their first defeat, Lions still lead the table with 22 points. They have a three-point lead over Cape Cobras who move up into second place on 19 points.

Both sides have a game in hand over the next two clubs, Knights in third place (17 points) and Dolphins in fourth (12 points).

Kiesy’s Warriors remain in fifth place, but with eight points and a game in hand, are now only four points behind Dolphins.

Continuing to prop up the table are Titans who have won just one game and have four points: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ram-slam-t20-2014-15/engine/series/736125.html?view=pointstable

Forthcoming fixtures

Kiesy’s Warriors are next in action tomorrow (Sunday 23 November) against bottom-placed Titans at SuperSport Park, Centurion, although thunderstorms are forecast during the day.

In tomorrow’s other game, top two sides Lions and Cape Cobras meet at the picturesque Newlands ground in Cape Town.