Ram Slam T20 Challenge, Warriors v Knights at East London, Nov 21, 2014
Hours of play (local time) 18.00 start, First Session 18.00-19.25, Interval 19.25-19.45, Second Session 19.45-21.10
JON-JON SMUTS bettered Andre Russell with both bat and ball to mastermind an eight-wicket win over the Chevrolet Knights and keep the Chevrolet Warriors’ slim hopes in the RAM SLAM T20 alive.
Smuts took 1 for 21 in four overs as the Knights were kept to 146 for four despite Russell’s onslaught, and then hit an unbeaten 73 from 56 balls, which included a six off Russell to win the game with three balls to spare.
While Smuts deservedly took the plaudits, and both the Ram Deliverer and Ram Slammer awards, credit was also due to the Warriors bowling at the top of the innings after they had won the toss and inserted their opposition.
The Knights top order has been brilliant in the competition, but was guilty of misreading conditions in collapsing to 19 for three.
Gerhardt Abrahams and Tumelo Bodibe were bowled by Rusty Theron (2 for 31) as they played across the line, and it took a steady partnership of 54 between Rudi Second and Diego Rosier to resurrect the innings.
Second played the anchor role to finish unbeaten on 48, while Rosier hit a slightly quicker 25 before Andre Russell did what he does best.
The West Indian showed his experience of a wide variety of conditions by scoring just four runs from his first 10 deliveries as he came to terms with the surface, and then smashed 53 from his next 21.
One of his four sixes flew right out of the ground as he gave the Knights something to bowl at in spite of their horrendous start.
However, the Warriors were always on track for victory thanks to Smuts, who batted through the chase and shared a key stand of 63 with captain, Colin Ingram (40).
After Ingram sliced a delivery to backward point to depart with 41 still required from 29 deliveries, Christiaan Jonker showed his finishing prowess with an unbeaten 22.
The Warriors remain fifth on the table with eight points, but have taken the first step in their bid to win five out of five and qualify for the playoff.