A magnificent all-round bowling display from the Chevrolet Warriors restricted the Chevrolet Knights to a total of 114 for four in their RAM SLAM T20 Challenge match at a windy Axxess St George’s in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
The Knights, who had earlier won the toss and elected to bat, found it tough going throughout their innings on the sluggish Port Elizabeth pitch, and only Dean Elgar’s undefeated 60-ball innings of 61 contributed any semblance of respectability to their score.
Simon Harmer and Wayne Parnell’s figures of none for 15 and one for 23 respectively in their four overs made them the pick of the bowlers, but the home side will be pleased with their collective efforts both with the ball and in the field, and will feel confident of chasing down the modest target of 115.
The Knights opening duo of Gihahn Cloete (2) and Loots Bosman (1) looked to vindicate captain Johan van der Wath’s decision to bat first from the outset, but both men fell foul to direct hits in the first and third overs respectively to leave their side in early trouble at nine for two.
The new pair of Elgar and Obus Pienaar (22) needed to consolidate, but instead were completely tied down by some disciplined Warriors bowling. The duo had only managed to advance the total to 18 for two after eight overs, and Elgar eventually broke the shackles with a lusty blow over long-on at the end of the ninth to end a boundary drought of 36 balls.
Pienaar finally found the fence in the 12th over off Ayabulela Gqamane (4-0-22-1), but the diminutive paceman had his revenge one delivery later as Pienaar miscued one to the fielder on the mid-wicket boundary, and he departed with his side struggling 46 for three.
Elgar had made just 20 from 32 balls at that stage, but he eventually stepped up the run rate with another maximum off Samit Patel (4-0-30-0) in the 13th over. His confidence began to grow, and he took the attack to the Warriors bowlers as he found the boundary with regularity, while rotating the strike effectively with partner Pite van Biljon (17) in between.
He went on to raise his third T20 half-century with another big six over bowler Parnell’s head in the 18th over, and by that stage his team had recovered to 90 for three.
Van Biljon then dispatched one into the crowd during the penultimate over, before perishing in the cause two balls later. But Elgar remained resolute, and finished the innings off with some good impetus to give his bowlers something to defend.
CHEVROLET WARRIORS - Christiaan Jonker, Ashwell Prince, Samit Patel, Adrian McLaren (wk), Davy Jacobs (capt), Wayne Parnell, Craig Thyssen, Kelly Smuts, Simon Harmer, Rusty Theron, Ayabulela Gqamane.
CHEVROLET KNIGHTS - Loots Bosman, Gihahn Cloete (wk), Dean Elgar, Pite van Biljon, Obus Pienaar, Werner Coetsee, Nicky Boje, Johan van der Wath (capt), Jandre Coetzee, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Malusi Siboto.