A spectacular middle order slump by defending champions the Goodyear Eagles cost them their Standard Bank Pro20 match against the Mercedes-Benz Warriors.
A spectacular middle order slump by defending champions the Goodyear Eagles cost them their Standard Bank Pro20 match against the Mercedes-Benz Warriors and also their hopes of a home semi final in the final round-robin match in the Standard Bank Pro20 at Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The Eagles appeared to be heading for another huge score when they reached 90-3 with nine overs remaining but spinners Robin Peterson (2-25) and Pieter Strydom (2-21) induced a collapse that renewed the Warriors hopes of a semi final place. The Eagles finished with 141-8 and the Warriors eclipsed that total with four wickets and five balls in hand.
Opener Johan Beukes (49 from 45 balls) and Davey Jacobs (40 from 26 deliveries) seemed to have repaired the damage caused by two early wickets but only Benji Hector of the other batsmen, with 15, was able to reach double figures as the spinners bowled cleverly to tie the home side up.
The Eagles needed to win to finish top of the log and secure a home semi final although they were guaranteed a place in the last four even if they lost.
Jacob Malao claimed two early wickets for the Eagles to inspire hopes of an easy victory but Arno Jacobs and Henderson combined for a half century third wicket stand and the visitors were back in business.
Henderson completed a magnificent game with a match-winning half century and veteran skipper Pieter Strydom provided the cool head to finish the game five balls early with 18 not out from just 12 balls.
The Warriors will now host the Eagles once again in the semi finals, this time at Mercedes-Benz Park in East London. The Titans will host the Lions at Supersport Park in the other semi final.