KIMBERLEY: Sisanda Magala bowled a brilliant Super Over that cost only three runs (plus two byes run to the wicketkeeper) to earn the Imperial Lions a three-run victory over the Northern Cape Heat and keep his team alive in the CSA Provincial T20 Knock Out Competition.
The Lions lived on the brink of elimination after they lost to Western Province by two runs in their opening match and then had their last pair scampering a single to earn the Super Over play-off. And, even then, they only managed 8 runs for the loss of 2 wickets, leaving the home side to make 9 for victory.
But Magala prevailed and they remain in contention for one of the two knock-out round places from Pool A along with Six Gun Grill WP and Six Gun Grill SWD. For the Heat it is the end of the road as far as qualification goes.
They have, however, produced a fast bowler of note in Johan van Dyk who is going to make an impact on the South African first-class season.
The Heat followed the trend of the second day used pitch by opting to bat first when they won the toss and managed to post a reasonably competitive 157/7 from their 20 overs.
This was largely due to the contribution of opening batter Ernest Kemm (83 not out off 55 balls, 15 fours). The left-hander underlined what has been the most significant fact of all the winning performances thus far: the need for at least one of the top three to bat deep into the innings.
Kemm is not the biggest of hitters, but he showed there are other ways to score quickly as he found the gaps in the field with good placement of his strokes as well as sharp running between the wickets. He contributed almost 53 percent of the Heat total.
He and Jonathan Vandiar put on 48 without being parted during the power play and that set the tone for the rest of the innings in spite of the fact that few of his partners got into double figures.
The Lions attack is still someway off its best but they nevertheless produced another four-wicket haul, this time by Ruan Haasbroek (4/28 in 4).
Van Dyk once again impressed with the new ball when the Lions started their innings, dismissing both opening batsmen, one of which was the dangerous Ryan Rickelton. His three-over spell in the power play earned him 2/10 in 3 overs with 5 of the runs coming in wides.
The power play ended on 29/2 and, after 10 overs the Lions were struggling on 58/3, needing exactly 100 for victory from the remaining 10 overs. However, they found the man for the moment in Mitchell van Buuren (61 off 31 balls, 7 fours and 3 sixes). When he was dismissed the target was down to 19 in the last two overs and Sisanda Magala got them most of the way with 8 runs needed off the last over.
In the end the Lions needed 2 off the final ball with their last two batsmen at the crease and they scampered a single to force the super over.
The Heat were left to rue the four dropped catches plus a run out opportunity off the final ball. Van Dyk finished with an impressive 3/16 in 4 overs.