Lions, Cobras share the spoils
The final of the Momentum One Day Cup between the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg was abandoned on Saturday with the teams sharing the title.
Full scorecard: Lions v Cobras
Umpires Johan Cloete and Marais Erasmus inspected the field at 4:45pm and declared the field unplayable, resulting in the match being called off and the title shared.
The Cobras made a rollicking start in pursuit of their target of 242, with Richard Levi and Andrew Puttick, at times, scoring at eight runs per over.
Imran Tahir was given the ball for the ninth over, and immediately repaid his captain. Tahir had Puttick trapped lbw for 24 off 31 deliveries, which included five boundaries.
At that stage, Levi and Puttick had cruised to 67 inside nine overs. Tahir struck again in his next over, when he bowled a wide, rank long hop, which Levi only managed to drive straight to Hardus Viljoen at mid off.
Levi struck eight fours in his 25-ball knock of 36 to leave the Cobras on 68 for two. With the light fading badly as a storm approached, the umpires decided to take the players from the field at the end of the 11th over.
The Lions had earlier posted 241 for seven after being sent into bat. Stephen Cook and Gulam Bodi opened proceedings with a 67-run partnership. Bodi was caught on the fine-leg boundary, hooking at a ball outside offstump, for 37.
Cook followed shortly thereafter, playing a Rory Kleinveldt delivery onto his offstump, out for 31. Alviro Petersen and Quinton de Kock then put together a 72-run partnership for the third wicket.
De Kock, the 19-year old wicketkeeper who on Thursday was included in the Proteas' T20 squad, was beginning to look dangerous, and it took a brilliant diving catch by Robin Peterson to dismiss him, for 41 off 38 balls.
Neil McKenzie (8) was run out with a direct throw from Justin Ontong, which left the home side on 161 for four in the 32nd over.
Jean Symes scored 25 off 28 balls before being undone by a delivery from Dale Steyn that kept low and uprooted his middle stump.
Zander de Bruyn was worked over by Steyn in the 41st over, first being struck on the wrist, which was followed up with a nasty short ball, that struck De Bruyn on the back of the neck.
Petersen was eventually out for 56, when he misjudged a delivery from Kleinveldt which clipped the top of his offstump.
The Lions limped to 241 after the departure of Viljoen (1), scoring only 39 runs in the final ten overs.
Kleinveldt led the attack wonderfully, claiming 3-41, while Johann Louw (1-43) and Steyn (1-54) supported well. Vernon Philander played his part perfectly, conceding only 34 runs from his ten overs.
The match on Saturday was a replay, as the game had been abandoned on Friday due to weather as well. At that stage, the Lions had the Cobras on the ropes and will feel that the weather "cheated" them out of the silverware.
The Lions though, will feel that this result is, in a way, a step in the right direction, as they lost in the Champions League T20 final not so long ago.
It has been a fantastic tournament, with a mix of big scores, dismal totals and some brilliant individual performances.
Notably, Henry Davids of the Nashua Titans and Levi shared the highest individual score of 166.
Hardus Viljoen took six wickets against the Titans in the first match, in which the men from Centurion capitulated for just 60.
Levi ended as top run-scorer with 620 runs at an average of 56.36 which included four half centuries and one ton.
Andrew Birch of the Chevrolet Warriors claimed 23 wickets, with Roelof van der Merwe one behind on 22. Viljoen ended with 20 from eight matches.
BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: Stephen Cook (capt), Alviro Petersen, Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock (wk), Neil McKenzie, Jean Symes, Zander de Bruyn, Aaron Phangiso, Hardus Viljoen, Imran Tahir, Pumelela Matshikwe
NASHUA MOBILE CAPE COBRAS: Richard Levi, Andrew Puttick, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas, Justin Ontong, Yaseen Vallie, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Johann Louw, Dale Steyn