A fine half-century by Colin Ingram helped the Warriors break their Ram Slam T20 Challenge duck with a record chase at Newlands in Cape Town to overcome the Highveld Lions on Sunday.
The left-hander smashed 89 (48 balls, 5 fours, 7 sixes) as the men from the Eastern Cape chased down 183 – beating the previous best successful chase of 177 made by the Cape Cobras against the Titans back in the 2010/11 campaign – with six balls to spare.
Ingram was the catalyst for his side, who were the host for the game in what was the first of two games of a double-header at the ground, with Christiaan Jonker (39 off 28) also playing a pivotal role.
In many ways, it was a lucky escape for the Warriors after their captain Jon-Jon Smuts won the toss and opted to bowl first at the start.
Reeza Hendricks continued his sublime start to the season with 81 (63 balls, 4 fours, 2 sixes), while debutant Ryan Rickelton (41 off 23) and Rassie van der Dussen (45 off 30) were also punishing on the ‘home’ bowlers.
It looked like the wrong call by skipper Smuts, who must have been feeling even worse after Kagiso Rabada (3/25) struck twice in the second over, leaving the Warriors on 13/2 in response.
But Ingram, who was dropped early on in his innings, rebuilt with Colin Ackermann (17) initially, before cutting loose to hand last season’s finalists a much-needed win.
Three wickets from Rory Kleinveldt and a half-century by JP Duminy helped the Cape Cobras make it two Ram Slam T20 Challenge wins from two after they ousted the Knights by three wickets in the second match at Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday.
The hosts, who had started the competing with a hat-trick of defeats, needed a big weekend to kickstart their campaign. And, after beating the Highveld Lions in Paarl on Friday, they followed that up with another vital showing in front of a sizable home crowd that had gathered for the second of a double-header at the venue.
Seamer Kleinveldt led the way with the ball by taking three for 19 after the hosts had won the toss and opted to field first.
That helped restrict the visitors to 159/5 in the process – a total built around a rather subdued 50 (37 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) by David Miller as well as Ryan McLaren’s unbeaten 31 off 20 balls and 40 from captain Theunis de Bruyn.
The Cobras appeared sluggish for most of their reply and looked in real trouble when Hashim Amla fell for 29 in the 10th over with only 54 on the board. They slumped further to 108/6 in the 16th over before a fine cameo by Vernon Philander helped get them over the line.
The Proteas all-rounder made 22 off 11 and offered good support to captain Duminy, who eventually fell for 67 (44 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) as the home side secured the win.