The Mercedes-Benz Warriors seized the opportunity for their first win of the Standard Bank Pro20 Series when they beat the Highveld Lions by four wickets.
The Mercedes-Benz Warriors seized the opportunity for their first win of the Standard Bank Pro20 Series when they beat the Highveld Lions by four wickets with three balls to spare at home in East London on Friday.
Tyron Henderson went to a half-century off just 27 balls before skipper Pieter Strydom, with a run-a-ball 23 not out, steered the Warriors to their victory target of 137.
Henderson, who came in with the Warriors in trouble on 20 for three, enjoyed himself as he struck 52 off 28 balls, with seven fours and two sixes, some of his strokes being quite outrageous.
Opening batsman Robin Peterson was caught behind off David Terbrugge for a four-ball duck and his partner Justin Kreusch fell for 10, trapped leg-before by the impressive Garnett Kruger. In the next over, the equally inspired Terbrugge bowled Steven Pope for five off the inside edge, but if the Lions thought their mediocre total of 136 for five was going to be defendable, they were sadly mistaken.
Henderson, who is the type of batsman you would expect to succeed in 20-over cricket, quickly disabused them of the notion.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld provided the necessary impetus with a thrilling innings featuring five sixes to give the Highveld Lions a competitive total of 136 for five in their Standard Bank Pro20 Series match against the Mercedes-Benz Warriors at Mercedes-Benz Park on Friday.
The left-handed Van Jaarsveld was in rapacious mood, his two fours and five sixes showcasing the sweetest timing as he raced to 55 off 29 balls. The Warriors eventually dismissed him off the last ball of the innings, caught by Justin Kreusch at mid-off off Mfuneko Ngam.
Earlier, the Highveld Lions top-order was neutralised by the Eastern Cape slow bowlers and seemed unsure whether to take them on and risk losing wickets or continue pushing singles.
Johan Botha, the former medium-pacer who has clearly based himself on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, bowled his four overs of quick offies for just 12 runs and no bookies would have expected that.
Neil McKenzie struck his only boundary in his 25-ball innings of 20 when he pulled a Robin Peterson full toss for four, but he must have had pangs of guilt for mistreating his fellow former national player because he lofted the next ball, an identical full toss, straight down Arno Jacobsí throat at deep square-leg.
But Van Jaarsveldís late onslaught showed the Warriors that the Lions were not in East London for Sunday School, the 20-year-old taking two sixes off Tyron Hendersonís last two deliveries in the penultimate over.
The Highveld Lions havenít lost previously in this seasonís competition, but their display in East London was worryingly less than impressive, especially with the bat.