Warriors on the march

Master blaster Jonker paves way in T20 format

CRICKET lovers have been enthralled by the excellent showing of the Eastern Cape franchise, the Warriors, during this summer’s Twenty20 Challenge matches.

IN TOP FORM: The Warriors’ pace bowler Andrew Birch, who is the leading bowler in this summer’s Twenty20 series Picture: FILE

The shortest version of the game has always been popular and crowds have flocked to the games the length and breadth of South Africa, during the past few weeks.

What makes the 20-over matches so interesting is that the Warriors have from early on shown their intent to win the T20 trophy this season and at the time of writing, they were in second spot on the T20 log, one point behind log-leaders the Titans, but with a game in hand.

So far the Warriors’ skipper, Jon-Jon Smuts, along with middle-order batsman Christiaan Jonker have done well with the bat while Andrew Birch had, before yesterday’s match against the Dolphins, captured 17 wickets at the freakish average of 9.23 runs per wicket.

These magnificent figures included his career-best 5/16 against the Lions at Kingsmead last weekend in a game narrowly lost by five runs by the Warriors.

On Sunday, the Warriors play a return match against the Titans at 2.30pm at Buffalo Park, and with a number of big-hitters on both sides, the fireworks are sure to be evident.

For the Titans, international Albie Morkel is a popular figure and he and Jonker are most likely to be the batsmen to provide the sixes.

Adding to the exhilarating feeling of anticipation is that the game will be televised and spectators who manage to catch a six-hit using only one hand, will go on to a short-list of winners to share a R1-million prize. Prize-money and cricket – what a winning combination!


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