Confident Warriors make it to the final

The Warriors will contest the final of the MTN Domestic Championship after a comprehensive 42-run victory over the Eagles in the first of the two semifinals at Buffalo Park in East London on Friday.

They now need to wait until Sunday to see whether they will play the Titans or the Cape Cobras on Wednesday in the final.

Set a modest target of 194 in 45 overs, the Eagles attacked vigorously from the start, but opening batsman Morne van Wyk was unfortunate to be run out for 22 when he tried to return to the non-striker’s crease. He slipped and could not beat a fine throw by Arno Jacobs at mid-off.

Boeta Dippenaar, who had batted boldly up to that stage, then went into his shell as medium-pacers Juan Theron and Zander de Bruyn placed the shackles on the batsmen.

However, the arrival of left-arm spinner Robin Peterson at the bowling crease at 83 for two wickets after 27 overs brought a remarkable change to the match.

Dippenaar had a rush of blood and tried to hit Peterson out of the park, but was caught on the long-off boundary by Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who juggled the ball in his lap but held on.

Dippenaar had batted solidly for his 38 with five fours, and in the next over Jacques Rudolph, who had struggled with his timing and looked out of sorts, was well caught by Justin Kreusch at deep mid-wicket.

Kreusch then bowled Adrian McLaren and Peterson struck twice in an over when he induced Ryan Bailey to return a catch and Roger Telemachus holed out on the leg side.

Ryan McLaren was caught at a gulley position, Thandi Tshabalala was bowled and Dillon du Preez was caught off a skier.

In an amazing spell of 7,2 overs, Peterson had grabbed seven wickets for 24 runs to bamboozle the opposition completely and set a new record for the 45-over competition.

Young Theron equalled the record of 30 wickets in a season for the series set by Eric Simons of Western Province in 1996/97 when he bowled Dean Elgar for five.

Earlier, some very accurate bowling backed up by aggressive fielding by all the Eagles’ fielders restricted the Warriors to 193 for eight wickets in their 45 overs.

Davy Jacobs was in magnificent form, striking 79 unbeaten runs in delightful style with a six and five boundaries. He and opening batsman HD Ackerman, who anchored the at times stuttering Warriors innings, added 79 valuable runs for the fourth wicket after the first three wickets had been lost for just 34 runs in 11,2 overs.

Ackerman was like the Rock of Gibraltar — solid and like granite, allowing nothing to get past his broad bat. He faced 89 balls in a 126-minute knock (4×4, 1×6) of 44 runs and it seemed that only a run out could lead to his dismissal.

And so it proved. He pushed a ball to mid-wicket and galloped through for a single but just failed to beat Ryan McLaren’s direct throw.

Soon after, Jacobs had a scary moment when well set. He played a ball to third man, called for a single and the return shattered the stumps. The appeal went to the TV umpire (Murray Brown), who turned it down, much to the disappointment of the Eagles who thought they had their man and were already celebrating.

Confidence is now at an all-time high in the Warriors camp as they set out to capture their first-ever trophy. — Sapa

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