cricket20 :: Impressive Warriors ambush the Bushrangers
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Impressive Warriors ambush the Bushrangers

The Chevrolet Warriors strengthened their place at the top of Group A after an impressive 28 run victory over the Victorian Bushrangers who suffered a dramatic middle order collapse.

The Warriors were spearheaded by their skipper Davey Jacobs who smashed an impressive half century to help his side get off to a flying start against one of this years pre tournament favourites.

Chasing a total of 159 for victory the Bushrangers suffered a torrid time thanks to some outstanding fielding by the Warriors who cruised to an comprehensive victory

The Bushrangers run chase got off to a disastrous start with openers Rob Quiney (1) and Brad Hodge (16) both falling cheaply inside the first 4 overs to put the Warriors firmly on top.

Having already dismissed Quiney; Makhaya Ntini picked up the big wicket of Hodge thanks to a stunning catch from Jacobs who plucked the ball, one handed out of the sky at mid off to leave the Bushrangers 20/2.

Despite the early loss, Aaron Finch and David Hussey shared a vital 3rd wicket partnership of 39 before Finch (25) was dismissed by Nicky Boje in the 8th over after another outstanding catch, this time by Jacobs in the covers.

With their big hitting line up in tatters Hussey continued to attack the Warriors bowlers but when he was bowled by Justin Kreusch in the 13th over the KFC Big Bash champions suffered a batting collapse which saw them lose 5 wickets in the space of 15 balls.

Rusty Theron led the way picking up three wickets to leave the Bushrangers 101-8, a position they were unable to recover from to spark wild celebrations by the Warriors and their home fans inside the St George's Park in Port Elizabeth.

The victory was set up by Jacobs who smashed an impressive half century which his side off to a flying start against one of this years pre tournament favourites.

Jacobs, who opened the batting with Ashwell Prince smashed 9 fours and 1 six during his time at the crease. His innings of 59 included 19 runs scored during the 5th over when he dispatched Shane Harwood for 3 fours and a six.

With the runs flowing easily the Bushrangers fought their way back into the game limiting Jacobs and Prince to just 19 runs during the three overs after the end of the power play restrictions.

With the runs starting to dry up Prince, who was struggerling to score tried to take a non-existent single off the first ball of the 11th over which left Jacobs running at the strikers end.

The skipper hesitated at first which gave wicket keeper Matthew Wade plenty of time to whip off the bails off thanks to a piece of quick fielding from Andrew McDonald.

Having run his captain out Prince tried to make amends for his moment of madness but he only lasted 5 more delivers before he tried to scoop Andrew McDonald over fine leg, but, having top edge the delivery he could only watch on as Wade took the catch behind the wicket.

After looking set for a large total the Warriors were now on the back foot with two new batsmen at the crease thanks to an impressive turnaround by the Bushrangers.

Despite the arrival of big hitting Colin Ingram at the crease the slump continued for the Warriors who lost two further wickets to leave them 97-4 with just over 7 overs to go.

Ingram (8), who starred with the bat during the Standard Bank Pro 20 Series was the first to go after he was caught by Glenn Maxwell after he top edged a delivery from Harwood before Justin Kreusch (1) followed 5 balls later.

With the innings threatening to go off the boil Mark Boucher and Johan Botha lead the Warriors fight back with a vital 5th wicket partnership of 40 before Rob Quiney pulled off a superb diving catch out on the long on boundary to dismiss Botha (20).

Having conceded 17 runs from his first over Dirk Nannes came back into the attack at the end of the innings and he responded well; bowling Boucher (31), who had been dropped two overs earlier by Glenn Maxwell to leave the Warriors 148-6.

Even though the Warriors lost Botha and Boucher in quick succession; Nicky Boje (4) and Craig Thyssen (8) ensured the home side ended their innings encouragingly adding 10 runs from the final 7 deliveries to set the Bushrangers a total of 159 to chase.

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