The Malan brothers, Janneman and Pieter, combined for their second, consecutive opening century stand to hand the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras a 41-run Duckworth-Lewis victory over the Warriors in the Momentum One Day Cup at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The victory, ended early due to a heavy downpour in the North West town, sent the Cobras into the semi finals but the manner in which Janneman and Pieter went about their chase of 263, would give the Cape side a lift ahead of their semi final against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins.
Rudi Second had won the toss and decided, without hesitation, to bat first but with an injury to opening batsman, Matthew Breetzke, and regular starts that ended prematurely by quite a few batsmen, the Warriors stuttered to 262 all out off the final ball of their 50-over innings.
In reply, the Malan brothers rarely gave their opponents a sniff, posting an unbeaten opening stand of 134 off 166 balls before a heavy downpour sent the players from the field. Janneman was the more aggressive of the brothers, having ended on 69 not out off 80 deliveries with seven boundaries and two maximums while Pieter ended unbeaten on 58 off the same amount of balls but with six boundaries.
Second tried seven different bowlers with Stuurman (5-1-23-0), Gqamane (5-1-21-0) and De Klerk (4.4-0-15-0) being the best of the bunch. Smuts, who opened the bowling in a surprise move by Second, bowled just four overs and was dispatched for 32 runs.
Second top-scored for the Warriors with 63 from 81 balls, an innings that only included one boundary and one six. Breetzke, who retired hurt after a nasty blow from Nandre Burger (10-1-29-1) on 17, returned to be last man out for 26 with four boundaries.
Jon-Jon Smuts just missed out on a half-century, edging Onke Nyaku (9-0-67-1) to Pieter Malan behind the sticks for 48 off just 52 deliveries after striking seven boundaries. Others to get starts but without kicking on were Ayabulela Gqamane (34), who ran himself out after looking good with one four and three maximums, Sinethemba Qeshile (21) and Lesiba Ngoepe (23).
Wihan Lubbe came in when Breetzke departed the field due to a damaged hand, but lasted just two balls as he edged Burger behind. Ziyaad Abrahams, although not the most economical bowler on the day, was the pick, taking 3-52 in 10 overs after having dismissed Second and bowling Jade de Klerk (3) and Glenton Stuurman (18) off inside edges.
Aviwe Mgijima was also a surprise with the part-time spinner grabbing 2-31 in six overs after having Qeshile brilliantly caught on the boundary by Tony de Zorzi and Ngoepe, caught by Janneman at short extra cover.
The Cobras will now face-off against the defending champions, the Dolphins, while the Lions, who ended as Pool B winners, will go up against the VKB Knights in the other semi final.
**As first published on Supersport.com