Lions win three in a row
The bizhub Highveld Lions maintained their momentum with a third straight victory in the Momentum One Day Cup, beating the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras by 19 runs at Sahara Park Newlands on Friday.
Full Scorecard – Cape Cobras v Highveld Lions
The Cobras faltered chasing a competitive target of 249. As with the Lions earlier, no batsman was able to build a respectable innings and they ended 19 runs shy.
Richard Levi and Andrew Puttick got them off to a comfortable start with an opening partnership of 45. Hardus Viljoen, the bowler of the tournament thus far, had to wait for his fifth over before opening his account in this match as Puttick played an indifferent shot to be caught behind.
Levi followed in the next over and the good early work had been undone.
Stiaan van Zyl played some elegant shots as he and Yaseen Vallie battled to rebuild the innings.
Their partnership was just becoming meaningful when van Zyl was squared up and bowled by a Zander de Bruyn delivery.
Justin Ontong joined Vallie, but it seemed as if the batsmen were walking through quicksand as they battled to consolidate.
They managed to stay just ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par score, but at one point opera music from somewhere on the grandstand was providing more entertainment.
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With fifteen overs to go, Ontong was trapped in front after Vallie and Dane Vilas had departed in short order.
Ontong's score of 37 was the best for his team, coming off 67 balls (3 fours). After that it all rested on the broad shoulders of Justin Kemp.
He and Johann Louw added 45, and were turning things around before the pair were dismissed in successive overs. Kemp was caught down the leg side and Louw ducked into a short delivery to glove a catch to the keeper.
Still, with the miracle men of Pietermariizburg, Dane Piedt and Charl Langeveldt, at the crease, anything was possible.
They were faced with the challenge of scoring the last 43 runs off 35 balls, and lady luck seemed to smile on the Cobras as Langeveldt was dropped twice.
With the goodish crowd cheering every run, Chris Morris broke the Cobras' hearts as two top yorkers rattled the stumps to leave the Lions victors by 19 runs.
The only satisfaction for the Cobras was that the Lions were denied a bonus point for the first time this season.
Aaron Phangiso was probably the pick of the bowlers with one for 31. Ethan O'Reilly was the most successful with three costly wickets, while Morris and de Bruyn each finished with a brace.
Viljoen also took two wickets, extending his tally for the season to 12.
Earlier, the Lions had battled to their total of 248. Gulam Bodi top-scored with 45 before becoming one of three run-out victims, while Kemp had an excellent evening with the ball, taking two for 23 in a single spell of ten overs.
With few outstanding performances on the night, De Bruyn scooped the Man of the Match award with his all-round contribution of 36 runs and two wickets.
The win took the Lions nine points clear at the top of the log as they prepare to take on the Dolphins on Sunday.
CAPE COBRAS: Richard Levi, Andrew Puttick, Stiaan van Zyl, Yaseen Vallie, Justin Ontong (captain), Dave Vilas, Justin Kemp, Johann Louw, Dane Piedt, Charl Langeveldt and Beuren Hendricks.
LIONS: Stephen Cook (captain), Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie, Temba Bavuma, Zander de Bruyn, Jean Symes, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Hardus Viljoen and Ethan O'Reilly