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ON THE RAMPAGE:A breezy half-century by
Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape Warriors made it two wins from its first two group ‘A' matches in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament with a 28-run victory over Victoria Bushrangers here on Monday.
The host's hero was skipper Davey Jacobs, who smacked a 39-ball 59 (9x4, 1x6) and plucked two outstanding catches at critical junctures during Bushrangers' chase.
Having won the toss and opted to bat, Jacobs got the Warriors off to a blinding start, moving skittishly around the crease to throw the Victorian seamers off their lengths. Jacobs was severe on Shane Harwood, taking 19 off his second over, the fifth of the innings.
Two of his shots in that over — a shovel over the long-on boundary and a slapped four wide of mid-off — showcased the opener's proficiency in the Twenty20-specific art of retreating deep into the crease to create hitting room against balls aimed at the blockhole.
As is often the case, a run out turned the tide, Andrew McDonald's throw from mid-wicket punishing Jacobs's tardiness at the non-striker's end in responding to partner Ashwell Prince's call for a single.
Three more wickets fell in the next three overs to complete the slump from 81 for no loss to 97 for four.
Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade played a huge part in two dismissals, both off McDonald's niggly medium pace, scampering backwards to pouch a top-edged sweep from Prince and effecting a leg-side stumping to remove Justin Kreusch.
Mark Boucher (31) and Johan Botha (20) then added 40 in just under five overs to ensure the breaching of the 150-mark. The former showed few signs of the shoulder injury that had threatened to keep him out of this game, pulling left-arm quick Dirk Nannes from outside off and strolling across his stumps to scoop Clint McKay fine.
Bushrangers may have felt relieved at having restricted the host to 158 after Jacobs's initial blitz, but concern soon replaced relief.
The Victorians lost both openers by the end of the fifth over, Rob Quiney pulling one straight to deep square-leg and an inspired Jacobs executing a perfectly-timed vertical leap at mid-on to catch a stinging lofted drive from Brad Hodge.
Victoria lost its third wicket at 59, just when a recovery seemed imminent. Jacobs flung himself to his right from cover to pouch the dangerous-looking Aaron Finch, who had struck two whistling sixes in his 20-ball 25, off left-arm spinner Nicky Boje.
Needing nearly 10 an over at the 10-over mark, Victoria crumbled, eventually finishing on 130 for nine.
Seamer Juan Theron was the most impressive bowler on show, finding the blockhole incessantly on his way to figures of three for 22.
Eastern Cape Warriors 158 for six in 20 overs (D. Jacobs 59, M. Boucher 31, A. McDonald two for 22) bt Victoria Bushrangers 130 for nine in 20 overs (A. Finch 25, D. Hussey 29, J. Theron three for 22, M. Ntini two for 33).
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