Central Gauteng dominated the Warriors, who were still pumped up by their last-over victory against the Rocks the previous night.
The Lions produced a well-rounded performance in Potchefstroom despite being distracted by off-field drama involving key all-rounder Sisanda Magala, who was forced to miss the opening three matches of the competition for failing to meet Cricket South Africa’s fitness standards.
Their bowlers, led by some outstanding seam bowling from Tladi Bokako, captain Malusi Siboto, and new acquisition Evan Jones, stifled the typically free-scoring Warriors batters on a field enlivened by copious amounts of rain that day.
Although the Warriors’ openers, Wihan Lubbe (27) and Lesiba Ngoepe (32), had shared a 48-run partnership, Lubbe struggled to score rapidly because the Lions’ seamers bowled hard and varied their pace.
After Lutho Sipamla had surrendered 15 runs in the seventh over, the Lions conceded just 51 runs in the following ten overs, with Jones claiming 2/20 in four overs.
Two rain delays, the second of which lasted an hour, interrupted the Warriors’ innings and decreased the goal for the Lions to chase.
Big Cameron Delport finally stepped up, smashing 30 off just 11 balls to put the Lions on track for the bonus point – a crucial addition to their points total after being deducted a point for a slow over-rate in a previous match.
Wiaan Mulder scored 31 runs off 21 balls, including two fours and sixes, to seal the Lions’ victory and keep their tournament chances alive.
Dafabet Warriors 106/4 (17ov)