Fast and furious. That could well sum up the Group B clash between Warriors and South Australian Redbacks in the Champions League at the RJIC Stadium on Sunday.
The Warriors got off to a fast start and then made a furious end to the Redbacks’ aspirations of making a match of the contest as the South Africans romped to a 50-run win to notch up their second win on the trot.
It was yet another comprehensive win for a South African club as the Australians are having a nightmarish start to the tournament. Two losses in two days – Cape Cobras scored a seven-wicket win over NSW on Saturday – must be a worry for the once mighty Aussies.
The Redbacks, who had lost to the Warriors in the semifinals last year, were no match to their rivals as they began the day by losing the toss and thereafter hardly anything went their way. Opener Jon-Jon Smuts smote a 65-ball 88 to help the Warriors race away to a formidable 171.
Chasing 172 was always going to be an uphill task especially against an attack as varied as the one the Warriors have. After losing Daniel Harris (4) in the first over itself, the Redbacks were never in the reckoning despite a bravo little innings by skipper Michael Klinger (34; 29b, 2×4, 1×6).
Warriors, fresh from their three-wicket win over RCB, got off to a blazing start despite the early loss of Ashwell Prince (3), who was yorked by the fearsome Shaun Tait. The Warriors thundered and plundered runs in the first eight overs as Smuts went berserk. The 50 came off only 29 balls and the Redbacks’ ploy of using three spinners fell apart.
Smuts and Colin Ingram took only 28 balls to add 50 for the second wicket as runs came in torrents. With things getting out of control, Klinger turned to his medium pacers Harris and Christian and the duo responded well to the captain’s distress call.