Cape Town — Another superb Marco Marais effort helped the Warriors claim some desperate game time and with it a perfect result as they beat the table-topping Cape Cobras by 10 runs in their latest CSA T20 Challenge outing in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The right-hander hit five sixes and seven fours in a 36-ball 75, which came days after he smashed 82 off 33 balls, as the home side amassed 189 all out after losing the toss and being asked to bat.
The visitors made a real fist of the chase thanks to George Linde's 42 and 30 by Jason Smith, but they eventually fell just short and were restricted to 179/7 at St George's Park.
It was nonetheless a fine effort from an excellent match in the Eastern Cape.
Just getting a game under their belt too for the Warriors would have been relieving after three of their opening five encounters had been washed out by the weather.
After the Cobras had won the toss, the first part of the game was all about the brilliance of Vernon Philander after he removed two of the top four in a wonderful display that yielded the outstanding and rare return of five wickets in a T20 innings.
The veteran seamer, who finished with five for 23 in 3.5 overs, rocked the top order to leave the home side on 42 for four just after the powerplay overs.
However, Marais through support from Onke Nyaku (37 off 22 balls) and Sisanda Magala (22 off 13 balls) resurrected the innings, before Philander returned to mop up the tail and keep the target to 190.
Despite losing regular wickets, the chase went well for most of the way for the Cobras as Hashim Amla (18), Janneman Malan (12) and David Bedingham (30) took them to 75 for three, before Smith and Linde combined for a 71-run fifth wicket stand.
It left them needing only 47 heading into the last five overs with the pair among six wickets still standings.
However, Lutho Sipamla (2/45) broke the stand and Magala (1/24) netted the key wicket of Linde to end the game as a contest and seize a key win for the Warriors.