Rain had the final say in Bloemfontein with the Momentum One Day Cup match between the VKB Knights and the bizhub Highveld Lions ending in a no result at the Mangaung Oval on Saturday.
The downpour in the Free State capital was the last thing both sides would have wanted with the Knights rooted to the bottom of the table and yet to find a win in six starts while the Lions, one place above the Knights, having won just once and with only two games remaining, have very little chance of making the play-off’s.
The sides have yet to complete a 50-over game this season with the match in Johannesburg having being called off without a ball being bowled in mid-February.
The Knights had won the toss and elected to field first with the Lions making slow progress before the heavens opened up. Marchant de Lange grabbed the early wicket of Kagiso Rapulan for just six, edging behind to Rudi Second behind the stumps with the visitors total on 15 in the seventh over.
De Lange (5-2-7-1) and Ottniel Baartman (4-0-13-0) kept things tight in the first few overs but midway through the 10th over, the rain came down, forcing the players off the field with the Lions on 22 for one, with Dominic Hendricks on 13 and Wihan Lubbe on three.
Hendricks came into this match in fine form, having scored 95 and 116 not out in his last two innings after he replaced Reeza Hendricks, who is involved with the Proteas’ current ODI series against Sri Lanka.
The Knights remain bottom of the log on four points from six games with the Lions moving to 10 points, six points behind the WSB Cape Cobras and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, who are just two points adrift of the leaders, the Multiply Titans and the Warriors.
The Knights’ season is practically over, with only a maximum of 20 points available to them, which would mean that they could end on 24 points but with the Cobras in some good form, having beaten the Dolphins by eight wickets earlier today, and the Dolphins still having four games remaining themselves, the men from Bloemfontein have a very slim, mathematical chance of making the semi finals.
The Lions too have a very slim chance, having two games left to play will need to win their remaining fixtures, against the Titans and the Dolphins with bonus-points if they harbour any chance of making the knock out stage. But that would mean that other results would need to go their way.
With the top four sides almost having secured their places, the Knights and Lions could be king-makers in deciding the final standings with the Knights still having to play against the Warriors, Dolphins, Cobras and Titans.
The Lions’ penultimate fixture is against the Titans next Thursday in Benoni while the Knights travel to Newlands in Cape Town on the same day to tackle the in-form Cobras.