Lions roar again
The bizhub Highveld Lions romped to their fourth consecutive Momentum One Day Cup win as Lions captain Stephen Cook’s brilliant 108 not out off 93 balls powered the home side to victory over the Sunfoil Dolphins at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Full Scorecard – Lions v Dolphins
In a match shortened to 37 overs due to a damp pitch that delayed the start of play, the Lions hammered their way to 246 for five after being put in to bat by Dolphins skipper Daryn Smit.
Cook’s century, his second in the competition, was brutally efficient, and the vaunted Lions attack was ruthless in the second innings, cleaning up the Dolphins for 157 in just 31 overs and one ball.
After being dropped on 14 by David Miller in the gully, Cook and Gulam Bodi set the tone with a run-a-ball opening partnership of 80 before Bodi was dismissed for 32 (45 balls, 5 fours), slicing a Robbie Frylinck delivery to David Miller at point.
Dolphins off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen was particularly expensive, his first three overs going for 32 runs, before Cameron Delport removed de Kock, caught by Vaughn van Jaarsveld for a run-a-ball 20 with two boundaries in the 19th over.
Robbie Frylinck trapped Neil McKenzie LBW for three as he momentarily put the pressure back onto the Lions, but the Lions' captain continued his fine run of form, flicking Lonwabo Tsotsobe off his pads for six in the 31st over and driving Frylinck through the covers for four in the next over.
He brought his century up in the 36th over, and celebrated by belting Frylinck’s (three for 52) last ball for a towering six to carry his bat, and the Lions, to a daunting 246 for five after 37 overs – the Dolphins doing themselves no favours by sending down no fewer than 41 extras.
In response, the Dolphins set off in rapid pursuit of the 247 needed for victory, with openers Jonathan Vandiar and Cameron Delport taking 10 off Chris Morris’s opening over. However, Hardus Viloen struck with the fourth ball of his first over, deceiving Delport with a slower delivery which he skied to Lions skipper and first innings centurion Cook at mid-off.
Vandiar and Dolphins captain Daryn Smit scored freely for 5.2 overs in a brisk partnership of 39 to take the score to 52 /1 in the seventh over before Smit chopped a Zander de Bruyn delivery onto his stumps to be out for 16, all scored in boundaries.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld joined Vandiar and together the pair added 37 runs off 8.4 overs before Vandiar fell one run short of his 50, edging a Pumelela Matshikwe delivery to a diving Quinton de Kock behind the stumps. Vandiar’s 49 came off 51 balls and included seven boundaries.
Matshikwe struck again in the 20th over of the innings, his sixth, when he bowled Van Jaarsveld through the gate for a battling 11 off 35 balls to have the Dolphins in trouble at 109 for four.
David Miller came to the crease and immediately showed some characteristic clean hitting at one end, forcing Cook to turn to Aaron Phangiso as he has done so often this season.
The spinner responded by picking up the wicket of Cody Chetty (10 off 14 balls) in his fifth over, stumped by De Kock after leaving his crease to swing hard at a ball that beat him.
Miller continued the onslaught, putting on 34 off 36 balls before being bowled by a Phangiso delivery that was too close to cut.
Kyle Abbot lasted all of three balls before edging Hardus Viljoen to ‘keeper De Kock, and Robbie Frylinck was bowled by Phangiso in the very next over to leave the Dolphins teetering on 150 for eight.
The innings was brought to an end as Jean Symes had Prenelan Subrayen caught by a back-pedalling Neil McKenzie and Mthokozisi Shezi was run out off the first ball of Viljoen’ s next over.
Phangiso was again the pick of the bowlers, with figures of three for 37 off eight, while Viljoen and Matshikwe picked up two wickets apiece.
The Lions are now 10 points ahead of their nearest rivals with 19 points from four games, while the Dolphins remain winless in the competition.
BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: Stephen Cook (captain), Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie, Temba Bavuma, Zander de Bruyn, Jean Symes, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Hardus Viljoen, Ethan O'Reilly
SUNFOIL DOLPHINS: Cameron Delport, Jonathan Vandiar, Daryn Smit (capt & wkt), Vaughn van Jaarsveld, David Miller, Cody Chetty, Robbie Frylinck, Prenelan Subrayen, Kyle Abbott, Mthokozisi Shezi, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.