Warriors prove too strong for Wayamba
The Chevrolet Warriors cruised to an impressive 7 wicket victory over the Wayamba Warriors in Port Elizabeth to start ensure they start their Twenty20 Champions League campaign brightly.
Faced with a target of just 154 the Warriors got off to a good start in their run chase despite losing Ashwell Prince (10) who was bowled by Chanaka Welegedara at the start of the third over.
Skipper Davey Jacobs and Colin Ingram built a 2nd wicket partnership of 51 which came from just 5 overs as the Warriors started to take control of the game thanks to some clever batting as the pair worked the ball around the ground.
With only 7 overs gone the Warriors were cruising towards victory with the run rate required just 6.69 an over for the South African Twenty20 champions.
With the game slipping away Wayamba brought Ajantha Mendis into the attack and the mystery spinner responded with a wicket in his second over removing Jacobs (26) with a clever slower delivery which rattled into the stumps.
Despite the loss the Warriors put together another important partnership with Ingram and Justin Kreusch adding 24 runs in a third wicket stand before Ingram (34), who impressed during his innings was dismissed by Rangana Herath at the end of the 11th over to leave the Warriors 93-3.
The loss of Ingram brought Mark Boucher to the crease and he wasted little time getting into the action; smashing Kaushal Lokuarachchi for two sixes and a boundary at the end of the 14th over to leave the Warriors needing just 33 runs from 36 deliveries.
The arrival of Boucher at the crease changed the pace of the game with the South African international making sure the Warriors cruised to victory smashing 40 from just 26 deliveries to seal the victory with 11 balls to spare.
Having won the toss Wayamba batted first with Jeevantha Kulatunga scoring an impressive half century for the Wayamba Elevens to lead their recovery after being reduced to 2-2 after just one over against the Chevrolet Warriors.
Kulatunga was in impressive form for the Sri Lankans scoring 59 from just 44 deliveries which included 6 fours and 3 sixes which proved vital for Wayamba as they ended their innings 153-9.
The innings got off to an appalling start though with Rusty Theron picking up the key wickets of Mahela Jayawardene (0) and Mahela Udawatte (2) in the first over.
The young South African bowled with pace and swing which left the batsmen unsettled at the crease with Jayawardene lasting just two deliveries before he swung wildly at a in swinging delivery which sailed into the hands of Justin Kreusch at second slip.
Udawatte quickly followed lasting just 4 deliveries before he picked out Nicky Boje at mid on to leave the Sri Lankans 2-2 at the end of the first over.
Kulatunga relieved the pressure in the third over dispatching Lonwabo Tsotsobe for two boundaries and a towering six over long on to signal his intent.
Kulatunga built a vital 3rd wicket partnership of 48 with skipper Jehan Mubarak but with the pair looking settled the Warriors struck back thanks to Boje who picked up the wicket of Mubarak (9) at the start of the 8th over.
The lose of Mubarak didnít effect Kulatunga who continued to attack the bowlers smashing Boje for a huge six which sailed out of the ground to leave Wayamba 58-3 after 9 overs.
Boje was punished again in the 11th over, this time by Kushal Janith Perera who sent a tossed up delivery from the former South African international flying over mid wicket.
Perera repeated the shot in the next over, this time bowled by Johan Botha before Kulatunga completed a vital half century with a single off Makhaya Ntini in the 12th over.
With the runs starting to flow the Warriors started to look nervous in the field with skipper, Davey Jacobs guilty of dropping a sitter at midwicket to hand an extra life to Kulatunga.
Luckily for Jacobs; Kulatunga could only add 8 runs to his total before he was caught two overs later by Kreusch out on the boundary to end an impressive innings thanks to Tsosobe who was brought back into the attack.
With the break through made Theron was also brought back into the attack and he picked up his third wicket of the innings when he dismissed the big hitting wicket keeper Perera (39) during the 16th over.
Kaushal Lokuarachchi (14) Thisara Perera (11) and Farveez Maharoof (5) quickly followed though as Wayamba suffered a late order wobble losing three wickets in the final over as the Warriors fought back to restrict the Sri Lankans.