All-round JJ Smuts guides Warriors to 31-run win over Central Knights

JJ Smuts struck seven fours for his 98 off 138 balls AFP

Johannesburg: Nov 5, 2011

Jon-Jon Smuts starred with bat and ball as Eastern Cape Warriors opened their South African 50-over provincial championship season with a 31-run victory over Central Knights in East London Friday.

Opener Smuts struck seven fours as he reached 98 off 138 balls before being caught and bowled by Werner Coetsee as the home team compiled 265-7 off 50 overs at Buffalo Park in the Indian Ocean city.

Coetsee (66 not out) was the only Knight to pass the 50-run mark in reply and a brisk late-innings 41 from Charl Pietersen was not enough as the visitors scored 234-9 off the alloted overs.

Smuts received good backing from Justin Kreusch (42) and Craig Thyssen (27), the only Warriors batsman to hit two sixes, while Dillon du Preez (3-40) was the pick of the Knights bowlers.

The cheap loss of opener Reeza Hendricks (7) was a sign of things to come for the visitors with five batsmen failing to make double figures and Smuts used his off-spin to reap 3-48 while Proteas Johan Botha and Lonwabo Tsotsobe snatched two wicets apiece.

Coastal Dolphins reached 41-0 off 10 overs against Western Cape Cobras in Durban before rain prevented further play and the ‘no result’ meant each team received two points. (AFP)