By Cape Cobras
A blistering 91-run unbroken partnership between Jon-Jon Smuts and Sinethemba Qeshile ended any lingering doubts by the Warriors and helped them seize a pivotal six-wicket victory over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Cape Town on Thursday.
Defeat for the log-leading hosts, coupled by the bizhub Highveld Lions winning the Jukskei derby against the Multiply Titans, threw the title race wide open.
With two rounds remaining, the Cobras, whose first-innings batting display was their let-down at PPC Newlands, saw their near 20-point advantage slashed to just over one-and-a-half following a crucial loss against the impressive Warriors.
The Eastern Cape franchise started the final day on 109 for three, needing a further 97 for victory.
They were dealt an early blow when Lesiba Ngoepe became the fourth victim of Dane Piedt (4/68) to leave the away side on 115 for four. That strike would have given the home side hope, but Smuts and Qeshile put their foot on the gas to take the game away from the Cobras. The pair scored at 6.42 to the over as they finished the game in a further 14.1 overs.
The captain ended unbeaten on 70 off 73 balls (10 fours, 1 six), while young Qeshile plundered 50 off 49 deliveries (9 fours) to complete a commanding win.
The result also kept alive the Warriors’ slim title hopes – they are now just over 27 points behind the leaders.
Above: Jon Jon Smuts of the Warriors after winning the 4-Day Franchise Series match between WSB Cape Cobras and Warriors at PPC Newlands on January 17, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)