Davy Jacobs led his Eastern Cape Warriors to the final of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament when they beat the South Australian Redbacks by 30 runs in Saturday’s semifinal.
The Warriors will meet Indian Premier League champions Chennai Super Kings in the final at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Jacobs (61) and Colin Ingram (46) staged a ferocious counter-attack after South Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait had South African Test batsman Ashwell Prince caught at first slip off the second ball of the match.
Jacobs and Ingram put on 104 for the second wicket off 70 balls to set their side up for a total of 175 for six off 20 overs.
Left-arm opening bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe dismissed in-form South Australian opening batsman Michael Klinger and Daniel Harris in the fourth over and the Redbacks were unable to recover, scoring 145 for seven.
Callum Ferguson made an impressive 71 off 49 balls for the losers.
Only two runs were scored off Tait in the first over of the match but 18 were hit off the second over, surprisingly bowled by left-arm spinner Aaron O’Brien, and 16 off Tait’s second over, including an audacious flick for six off his stumps by Jacobs.
Man of the match Jacobs said of his assault on Tait: “I just thought maybe I should go after their main guy and it came off.”
He said the first six overs in Twenty20 cricket were crucial in both batting and bowling.
“We got off to a good start with the bat and Lonwabo Tsotsobe started well with the ball. Our spinners bowled well and we fielded well so I am very happy.”
The Warriors raced to 77 off seven overs but the scoring rate was pegged back as the ball became softer and stroke play became more difficult on a slow pitch.
Daniel Harris bowled his slow medium-pace effectively, making the breakthrough when he dismissed Jacobs and going on to take a career-best three for 18 off four overs.
The Redbacks clawed their way back into the game but a late burst of hitting by Nicky Boje and Justin Kreusch, who took 23 off the last over from Daniel Christian, gave the Warriors a winning total.
“On that wicket they maybe had 20 too many,” said South Australian captain Klinger.
“We’ve had a great tournament but it’s really disappointing we didn’t bring our A game tonight.”