Eagles edge Warriors in thrilling semi

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The Gestetner Diamond Eagles edged out the Chevrolet Warriors 16-5 in a tie-breaking super over to win a thrilling Standard Bank Pro20 semifinal third leg in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

After all the excitement of the match being tied - 97 runs each - left-arm seamer Jandre' Coetzee's slower balls posed too many problems for the Warriors in the decisive over as Davey Jacobs, Robin Peterson and Craig Thyssen could manage just five singles between them.

Coetzee was an unlikely hero for the Eagles, having not been used previously in the competition this season, but he also starred in the Warriors' normal innings with three for 19.

The victory puts the Eagles into the final against the Western Cape Cobras but also ensures an invitation, along with a hefty cheque, will be in the mail for the IPL Champions Trophy.

The Eagles looked well on course to win in regular time as Boeta Dippenaar and Dean Elgar were managing the small run-chase seemingly perfectly as they added 37 in seven overs to take the Eagles to 76 for three in the 17th over.

But Juan Theron bowled superbly at the death, having Dippenaar caught at midwicket for 15 off a leading edge, plus claiming Ryan Bailey's wicket in the penutimate over. His spell of two for 10 in two overs left the result in the balance.

Wayne Parnell had seven runs to defend in the final over and bowled superbly to ensure the tie, followed soon after, amazingly, by the news coming through from Durban that the other semi-final in Durban had also ended in a tie.

But the Warriors' attention to detail deserted them in the super over as Bailey and Dillon du Preez both hit Theron for sixes to ensure the Eagles ultimately had too many runs to chase down in one over.

Fast bowler CJ de Villiers had once again had his say as the Diamond Eagles bowled the Warriors out for just 97 after sending them in to bat.

While the Warriors will be disgusted by their batting effort, several of their experienced batsmen losing their cool and displaying inappropriate shot selection, De Villiers once again had them well and truly licked, his brilliant haul of five for 12 following hot on the heels of his four for 14 in Sunday's washed out second leg.

De Villiers' magnificent performance killed off any hope the Warriors had of posting a competitive total in conditions that were helpful to the bowlers, the air being humid and the cloud cover complete.

Peterson tried to send the ball air-mail in the second over and was caught off De Villiers for a three-ball duck and fellow opener Justin Kreusch (5) fell in similar fashion in De Villiers' next over.

Ashwell Prince, such a good manager of an innings, scored a run-a-ball 24 before he controversially failed to get the benefit of the doubt from TV umpire Gerrie Pienaar and was adjudged to have been stumped by Morne van Wyk off Bailey.

After the outstanding new-ball bursts from De Villiers and Coetzee, the bowling of medium-pacer Bailey and off-spinner Thandi Tshabalala in the middle overs was another big plus for the Eagles. They stuck to a disciplined line and length, Bailey taking two for 25 and Tshabalala conceding just 14 runs in their respective four-over spells, before De Villiers and Coetzee returned to wreck the rest of the Warriors innings.

Captain Davey Jacobs couldn't rescue the Warriors as he tried an unlikely paddle-sweep off the brisk, tall De Villiers and was caught at short fine-leg for 20, leaving the home side with a total that really shouldn't have been enough, but so nearly was.
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