Malan brothers bat Cobras into MODC semi-finals
Malan brothers Janneman and Pieter both recorded unbeaten half-centuries before rain intervened to help the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras book their ticket to the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-finals with a 41-run Duckworth/Lewis win over the Warriors in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The pair shared in an unbroken 134-run opening wicket partnership to put Ashwell Prince’s side on course for their victory target of 263.
But a heavy downpour arrived just after the halfway point of the chase, leaving umpires Ryan Hendricks and Shaun George with little option but to call off the game.
The result capped a remarkable turnaround for the Cape side, who prior to Friday’s win over the Imperial Lions had failed to win any of their eight matches in 2020/21 – six in first-class cricket and two in the ongoing 50-over competition.
But back-to-back bonus-point triumphs mean they will now enter next week’s play-offs as the form team after an excellent reversal of fortunes.
It started with their 76-run mauling of the Lions 24 hours earlier and they built on that nicely by cruising past the Warriors, who won the toss and batted first at Senwes Park, which is hosting the tournament in a bio-secure environment (BSE).
The men from the Eastern Cape started well thanks to Jon-Jon Smits (48) and Rudi Second (63 off 81 balls, 1 four, 1 six) to reach 125 for two just after halfway and then 202 for four at the 40-over mark.
But they lost their way from there as wickets fell regularly, mainly to Ziyaad Abrahams (3/52) and Aviwe Mgjima (2/31) and some excellent fast and disciplined bowling from Nandre Burger 1/29 (10).
They were eventually bowled out for a modest, yet competitive 262 in the final over.
But the Malans ensured there was little chance of their side not chasing down the target as they came out guns blazing.
Janneman thumped 69 off 80 balls (7 fours, 2 sixes) and the senior Pieter recorded 58 off 80 balls (6 fours) to put their side ahead of the rate.
And when the rain finally arrived, they did enough to seal a big win to join the Lions, Hollywoodbets Dolphins and VKB Knights in the last four.