Western Province booked their place in the knockout stage of the inaugural T20 Knock Out competition over the weekend.
Opening the season with a two-run win over the Lions in Kimberley on Friday – thanks to a superb 106 runs off 63 balls by Zubayr Hamza – Province then suffered the shock of the tournament to date on Saturday when they lost to SWD by three wickets.
That defeat blew Pool A wide open, meaning WP had to beat Northern Cape by a decent margin after the Lions beat SWD yesterday to make the top two and book their place in next month’s quarterfinals.
The Capetonians looked value for money early on, with the Northern Cape team on 58/5 at one stage.
Captain Wayne Parnell led from the front to take 3/30, but Northern Cape recovered thanks to Evan Jones (50) and an unbeaten 39 off 18 balls by Beyers Swanepoel to get to 163/8.
A win wouldn’t be enough to overtake the Lions in second place, Province had to get to the winning total in 19.1 overs.
And they pushed on Hamza’s nommer again, with the opener this time scoring 65 off 50 balls to help his team to the winning target and a place in the quarters.
Jonathan Bird (42 off 23 balls) and Kyle Verreynne with an unbeaten 25 off 11 also deserve kudos as WP joined SWD in the last eight.
This week sees Pool B action in Bloemfontein where the Knights, Titans, Rhinos and Tuskers lock horns.