The Warriors will meet Chennai Super Kings in tonight's Champions League Twenty20 final after securing a 30-run victory over South Australia in Pretoria. Colin Ingram (46) and Davy Jacobs (61) shared a 104-run partnership that was key to the hosts setting a victory target of 176.
They looked to be headed for an even bigger total, but Daniel Harris pulled it back with an impressive three for 18, before Nicky Boje smashed 22 to lift his side. The visitors were never in the game after Lonwabo Tsotsobe's two early wickets rocked their top order - the left-arm seamer removing in-form Harris (eight) and Michael Klinger (13). Callum Ferguson plundered 71, but he lacked support as the previously unbeaten Redbacks ended on 145 for seven.
"175, on that wicket, was 20 too many," Klinger, the Redbacks captain, said. "That's how it is. We had a great tournament, did not bring our A game in today. That's the way it goes. We pride ourselves on taking our catches and today it did not happen. Losing early wickets did not help." Shaun Tait (2-38) looked lively in his first over when he was rewarded with the dismissal of Ashwell Prince for a duck off the second delivery.
"We knew Tait is a big boy, and he struck again in the first over, but we took them on after that," said Jacobs, the Warriors captain But Ingram entered the fray and took full advantage of the Redbacks' gamble to open with the spin of Aaron O'Brien at the other end - the bowler was smashed for 18. Together with Jacobs they put on a half-century in 29 balls, before Jacobs reached his 50 from 32 deliveries.
"When I have a bat in my hand and when I am hitting the ball, I feel in my element," Ingram had said before the innings yesterday. It clearly showed in yesterday. They continued to look untroubled, taking the Warriors past 100 in the 11th over, before the stand was ended by Harris. Tsotsobe (2-16) was exceptional early on when he removed the openers, who were key to the Australians reaching the last four, in the space of four fourth-over deliveries. Graham Manou and Ferguson managed to steady the ship, but their 28-run stand took almost five overs.
Cameron Borgas (10) came and went quickly and despite the best efforts of Daniel Christian and Ferguson - the pair shared a 74-run partnership - there was not enough firepower. * Agencies