Cider Watch: Weather deals a blow to qualification hopes for Kieswetter’s Warriors

Ram Slam t20Craig Kieswetter’s Warriors were left ruing the weather on Sunday after their Ram Slam T20 Challenge game against Titans at SuperSport Park, Centurion was cut short by rain and then left no time for a super-over.

Only eight overs a side were possible with both franchises finishing on 79-5, but by the time Warriors innings finished their innings, it was already 50 minutes past the scheduled close of play. Under Cricket South Africa playing conditions, that left no time for a super over.

As a result both sides took three points instead of the possible four on offer to the victor.

Warriors will now need to win their remaining three matches with bonus points – awarded if a side wins with a run rate of 1.25 times that of the opposition – and hope other results go their way if they are to qualify for the semi-finals.

Put into bat on Sunday, bottom-placed Titans omitted their two former Somerset men, Roelof van der Merwe and Dean Elgar.

They got off to an explosive start, reaching 28 off the first two overs as Henry Davids smashed four fours and a six to make 23 off 11 balls. Fellow opener Theunis de Bruyn made 16, but the middle order failed to fire as Ayabulela Gqamane took two wickets for just four runs in one over. Skipper Darren Sammy helped Titans’ cause by hitting 16 at the end of the innings, before becoming a deserved wicket for the economical Rusty Theron who kept the pressure on throughout his two overs.

Warriors got off to the worst start. First Kieswetter fell without scoring in the first over, edging behind while trying to guide the ball to third man. Then skipper and former Somerset overseas player Colin Ingram was caught at mid-on off a defensive shot for 4 in the second. Warriors lost a further wicket in the third over to leave them 22-3, but a partnership worth 52 in 4.5 overs from JJ Smuts and Simon Harmer put them firmly on track.

Going into the final over on 74-3, they needed six for victory with both batsmen well set. But both men departed to the first two balls, as first Harmer was caught at point for 24. Next ball, after taking a single, Smuts was run out for 37 (22b 3×4 2×6). A wide helped Warriors cause, but they could only manage three further runs with the bat, leaving them exactly equal with Titans after eight overs:

One other match, which featured three former Somerset overseas players, was played in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge on Sunday:

Cape Cobras v Lions

Cape Cobras replaced Lions at the top of the table with a comfortable victory by 77 runs over their rivals at Newlands, Cape Town.

The result puts Cobras two points clear and certain of a semi-final place. After leading the table for much of the competition, Lions have now suffered two defeats in a row, but have also clinched one of the other semi final places.

Cobras elected to bat on Sunday and made 154-7 in their 20 overs, ‘keeper Dane Vilas top scoring with 51, Omphile Ramela making 46 and former Somerset T20 player Richard Levi hitting 25 at the top of the order. The rest of the batting order failed to keep up the momentum or the total could have been much higher. Kieron Pollard went for just 6, skying a huge top-edged hook to deep backward-square.

In reply, Lions had a disastrous start, losing both openers, including Alviro Petersen (5), inside five overs. Former South African international Neil McKenzie (31) and Temba Bavuma (20) gradually rebuilt, putting on 34 in six overs, but when McKenzie fell at the beginning of the 11th over, Lions still needed another 100 off 58 balls. That proved beyond them as they quickly collapsed, losing eight wickets for 22 runs in 5.1 overs.

Forthcoming fixtures

There is one game tomorrow (Wednesday) evening as Titans play Dolphins at Benoni before a full round of matches on Friday night, when Kiesy’s Warriors take on league leaders Cobras in what is sure to be a tough encounter. Friday’s other games are: Knights v Dolphins and Lions v Titans.