CAPE TOWN – A flying half-century by Rassie van der Dussen ensured the race for home advantage in the CSA T20 Challenge playoffs would go down to the wire after the Highveld Lions clinched a six-wicket bonus-point win over the Cape Cobras on Friday.
In a penultimate regular season fixture at Newlands, the visitors turned in a polished display with the ball to restrict the hosts to a poor 133/7, before chasing down the target with 25 balls to spare.
Van der Dussen was the key man with the bat, returning to form with an unbeaten 59 (36 balls, 2x4, 4x6) to leave everything to play for in Sunday’s final round.
The Lions jumped from third to first on the table, now with 24 points, one ahead of the Cobras (23) and three ahead of the Warriors (21).
And they were full value for their win, after Nono Pongolo led the way impressively with the ball.
The seamer claimed 1/17 in four overs, and was amongst six bowlers to pick up a wicket apiece – the pick of the others being the consistent Bjorn Fortuin (1/22) and Wiaan Mulder (1/25).
Only Jason Smith made an impact for the home side with an unbeaten 49 off 35 balls, while JP Duminy contributed 29 on his return to the side.
There was another failure for Hashim Amla after he managed just 10.
The Lions lost Reeza Hendricks (2) early in the chase, but 26 apiece from Ryan Rickelton and Temba Bavuma was more than enough support for Van der Dussen.
He completed his 21st T20 half-century, and batted right through to complete a fine comeback effort for his side, just two days after they suffered a similar fate to the Warriors in Johannesburg.
INNINGS 🦁— Lions Cricket (@LionsCricketSA) April 26, 2019
The bizhub Highveld Lions seal a bonus point victory over @CobrasCricket to move TOP of the log.
🏏 @tbavuma10 (26)
⚾️ T Bokako 1 - 22
Next match, it's a derby as we take on @Titans_Cricket at @SuperSportPark on Sunday.#COBvLIO #TTNvLIO pic.twitter.com/PbfAOlxGTs
Final League Fixtures – Sunday, April 28 (all 2.30pm)
Warriors v Knights – Buffalo Park, East London; Dolphins v Cape Cobras – Kingsmead, Durban; Titans v Highveld Lions – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Cricket South Africa