Warriors Remain On Course For Fairy Tale Play-Off

The Warriors added another remarkable chapter to their Momentum One-Day Cup comeback story when they pulled off a record chase to beat the Titans at SuperSport Park.  Knowing that anything less than a win would spell the end of their campaign, the Chevrolet Warriors’ hopes appeared slim when the Titans racked up 353/5 thanks to Qaasim Adams’ unbeaten 102 and half-centuries from Jacques Rudolph, David Wiese and Albie Morkel.  But Jon-Jon Smuts provided the early impetus as he hit 86 from 58 balls, and Colin Ingram anchored the chase perfectly with his 106 not out which saw the Warriors to a five-wicket win with 14 balls remaining.

It gave the Warriors the record for the highest run chase in South African domestic cricket, beating the 336/3 scored by The Unlimited Titans against the Eagles in the 2008/09 season.  The result confirmed the Nashua Cape Cobras as the top team on the log, meaning they will host the final next Friday, and also kept the Warriors in the competition.  They must now beat the bizhub Highveld Lions with a bonus point in East London on Sunday, and hope that the Titans lose to the Dolphins in Durban.

Should that happen, then the respective net run-rates of the two teams would decide who advances to the play-off, because they would each have the same number of wins, the same number of wins against each other and the same number of bonus points.  Regardless of whether the Warriors make it, this will be a game to remember.  Sisanda Magala’s three wickets were the only major positive to come out of the first innings after they had won the toss and stuck the Titans in to bat, two of which helped reduce the Titans to 81/3.

But Rudolph’s 78 steadied the ship and he added 88 with Wiese (59), before Adams smashed nine sixes in his 71-ball knock to round off the innings in style, with Morkel chipping in with an unbeaten 56 from just 38 balls.  The Warriors have built up a bank of confidence in recent weeks, though, and they brought that to bear in spectacular style as Smuts’ assault put them in prime position early on, helping them reach 136/1 in the 15th over.  His departure did not stem the flow significantly as Ingram maintained the momentum, particularly in a 92-run stand with Darryl Brown (50).

Christiaan Jonker then continued his magnificent form with 42 from 19 balls that all but saw the Warriors home.

Photo credit: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images