Lions in command against Cobras
Four wickets from Zander de Bruyn piled the pressure on the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in their Sunfoil Series match against the bizhub Highveld Lions at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Thursday.
The Cobras were bowled out for 224 and the Lions are 78 for one at the close of play on day one.
Lions captain Stephen Cook won the toss and asked the Cobras to bat first, hoping to take advantage of the overcast conditions.
The first ball was struck past point by Alistair Gray for four and the quick start continued for the opening six overs. At that stage the Cobras found themselves 30 for no loss.
Gray and Andrew Puttick slowed down though, focusing on spending time at the crease rather than continuing the high run-rate.
The 15th over brought the first wicket. De Bruyn claimed his 250th List A scalp when he tempted Gray (15) into a drive, which found the outside edge and Quinton de Kock made no mistake behind the stumps.
Stiaan van Zyl joined Puttick at the crease, and the latter steered a De Bruyn delivery behind point for three runs, which brought up the Cobras 50.
The 37 year-old veteran bowler then went wider on the crease and it worked, Puttick was clean bowled for 31.
Cobras captain Justin Ontong promoted himself up the order, sending himself in at No 4 instead of Richard Levi.
He was merely a spectator to the Van Zyl onslaught though as the 25-year-old hit 12 from an Ethan O’Reilly over to take the home side into lunch on 75 for two.
Straight after the break, De Bruyn claimed his third wicket of the innings when Ontong (4) edged a delivery to De Kock.
Levi walked to the crease and was his usual belligerent self, hitting two fours in his first eight deliveries.
Wickets had been falling at regular intervals, though, and this continued when De Bruyn picked up his fourth wicket, bowling Van Zyl for 44. The Cobras were in need of a partnership when they found themselves at 112 for four.
Qaasim Adams joined Levi and the pair began to rebuild the innings.
With the partnership on 34, however, Adams pushed the ball to midwicket and set off. O’Reilly was quick to the ball and hit the stumps - Adams run-out for 16.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side when Levi was caught behind off Cliffe Deacon for an entertaining 43 from 42 deliveries, leaving the Cobras in trouble at 166 for six.
They were soon in more trouble when Johann Louw was walking back to the pavilion for a duck, Deacon claiming his second wicket.
Cobras veteran, Charl Langeveldt joined Dane Vilas at the crease and tried to give some respectability to scorecard, but with the score on 199, Imran Tahir dropped a ball short and Langeveldt couldn’t resist swinging at it. He hit it down O’Reilly’s throat and was out for six.
In the second over after tea, De Bruyn got his fifth wicket - only the fourth five-wicket haul of his first-class career.
He managed to nip a delivery back to Vilas, bowling him for 43. The Cobras were then all out for 224 when Imran Tahir had Lizaad Williams caught by Stephen Cook.
De Bruyn finished with fantastic figures of five for 39 in 20 overs, Tahir took two for 14 and Deacon claimed two for 54.
The Lions' openers started their innings cautiously, seeing off the first 10 overs without any problems. The 12th over finally brought the breakthrough the Cobras so desperately craved, Quinton de Kock bowled by Langeveldt for 26.
Temba Bavuma joined his captain, who has been in excellent form this season and looked untroubled at the crease.
They put on an undefeated 25-run partnership before stumps were called. At the close of play Cook was 34 not out, with Bavuma left undefeated on 17.
CAPE COBRAS: Alistair Gray, Andrew Puttick, Stiaan van Zyl, Richard Levi, Justin Ontong (capt), Qaasim Adams, Dane Vilas (wk), Johann Louw, Lizaad Williams, Charl Langeveldt, Beuran Hendricks.
HIGHVELD LIONS:Stephen Cook (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma, Neil McKenzie, Zander de Bruyn, Thami Tsolekile, Brett Pelser, Cliffe Deacon, Hardus Viljoen, Imran Tahir, Ethan O'Reilly.