RAM SLAM T20: Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw see Chevrolet Knights to final

Reeza hendricks and Rilee Rossouw steered the Chevrolet Knights into their first RAM SLAM T20 final in six years as they beat the bizhub Highveld Lions by eight wickets in Sunday’s eliminator at Bidvest Wanderers.

The result means that the Knights will now play in the Champions League Twenty20 for the first time since the competition’s inaugural edition in 2009 - back when they were still known as the Eagles - and will meet the Nashua Cape Cobras in Friday’s final at Newlands.

The Knights showed composure with both bat and ball, with their two Proteas batsmen, Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw, showing their class in a 115-run partnership - a ground record for the second wicket - that allowed them to chase down a target of 149 with 13 balls to spare.

Recognising that the Lions total of 148 for five was short on a good pitch, the Knights allowed themselves time to get in as they scored just 30 for one in the opening five overs, before cutting loose to take 37 from the next four and reduce the required rate to marginally more than a run a ball.

From that point on there was no need for any rash shots, and Hendricks (74 not out from 53 balls) and Rossouw (58 off 42) batted sensibly to get within five runs of the target.

Although Rossouw fell with victory in sight, Hendricks launched the very next ball for six to finish the game in style.

Equally important to the Knights’ victory was the combined effort of their bowlers, with Dillon du Preez, Malusi Siboto (2 for 26) and Shadley van Schalkwyk all conceding less than seven runs per over.

Captain Werner Coetsee opened the bowling with himself - a rare case of a spinner opening the bowling in the competition this season - while Andre Russell grabbed the key wicket of Quinton de Kock with his first ball.

Siboto took care of Chris Gayle and Rassie van der Dussen, and the Lions rarely gained any momentum as most of their batsmen got out just as they were getting going.

Temba Bavuma’s 36 was the top score, while Neil McKenzie hit 33 before he was dismissed by Van Schalkwyk.

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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