Eddie Leie claimed a telling four wickets to bowl the Highveld Lions into the T20 Challenge knock-out stages with a comfortable 22-run win over Cape Cobras at Boland Park in Paarl on Sunday.
The leg-break bowler bulldozed the home side’s middle order and also took out their top-scorer Richard Levi to end with the outstanding figures of 4/26 in four overs as the visitors defended their 139/8 with ease.
After winning the toss and inserting the opposition, the Cobras would have been relatively satisfied at the halfway stage.
Rassie van der Dussen hit a typically attacking 56 (44 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and Mangaliso Mosehle (31), but three wickets apiece by Wayne Parnell (3/22) and Tshepo Moreki (3/26) put their side in control.
Despite two early Dwaine Pretorius (2/14) wickets, the Cobras looked on course for victory too after reaching 60/2 in the ninth over before Leie’s wizardry changed the course of the game.
First he removed Dane Vilas (4), then Levi (41), followed by Parnell (10) and finally Aviwe Mgijima (5), leaving the home side battling on 83/6.
Hardus Viljoen and Bjorn Fortuin also played a key role with 2/23 apiece as the hosts were eventually shot out in 19 overs.
It meant they lost their third position on the table, with the Lions instead progressing to the qualifier against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, with the Multiply Titans awaiting the winner of that game in the final at Centurion next Friday.