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Cricket | Sunfoil Series

Hardus Viljoen © Gallo Images

Final session flourish puts Lions on top

A 110 run partnership between Thami Tsolekile and Cliffe Deacon and six wickets with the ball in the final session, has put the bizhub Highveld Lions in complete control in their Sunfoil Series match against the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Friday. The home side are 81 for six at the close of day two, with a lead of just 35.

Finding themselves 131 for six at Lunch on day two, still 93 runs behind the Cobras first innings score, Tsolekile and Deacon produced the partnership the Lions were craving. They batted for most of the second session, taking the total to 241 before Tsolekile fell to Charl Langeveldt.

Zander de Bruyn’s first innings figures of five for 39 in 20 overs meant the home side could only manage 224. It also meant the Lions were batting just after Tea and were 78 for one at the close of day one. Quinton de Kock (26) being the only wicket to fall for the away side.

Day two proved to be a slow day for run scoring as the Cobras bowlers gave nothing away while they bowled a tight line and length. Stephen Cook played a Johann Louw delivery across the line and was bowled for 37 early in the day.

Neil McKenzie joined Temba Bavuma at the crease and the latter found runs hard to come by. Cobras captain, Justin Ontong, turned to Lizaad William and he obliged with a wicket. He managed to swing a delivery through the defences of Bavuma, who was out for 34 from 117 balls.

The Cobras tails were up and De Bruyn was soon back in the pavilion too. Williams trapping him LBW for one. He then struck again on the stroke of lunch when he found the edge of Brett Pelser’s bat and Vilas took the catch. Pelser only managed to score 8 runs. Lunch was called at the fall of the wicket.

The second session was all about the Tsolekile and Deacon partnership. They first brought up their 50 partnership from 95 deliveries, then they took the Lions past 200.

Deacon was positive throughout his innings and his 50 was brought up in only 75 deliveries. The 86th over was the most entertaining of the day, the first three deliveries went to the boundary for four, bringing up Tsolekile’s 50 in 106 deliveries as well as the 100 partnership. The fifth delivery was struck for yet another boundary, followed by Langeveldt finally bowling the 32 year-old for 58.

Louw claimed another wicket in the next over when he trapped Hardus Viljoen in front for a duck. Deacon and Imran Tahir steered the Lions past the Cobras total, but once Deacon fell for 71 from a Williams delivery, the tail was wrapped up in no time. Williams finishing with figures of four for 62 in 19 overs. The Lions all out for 270, a lead of 46.

Their opening bowling pair of Viljoen and Deacon then ripped through the Cobras top order. Gray (5), Puttick (6) and Ontong (11) were all dismissed within the opening 11 overs.

With the Cobras on 46, then next seven deliveries brought three wickets. Firstly De Bruyn claimed his sixth wicket of the match, clean bowling Richard Levi for 12. The home side affectively zero for four. The next over things went from bad to worse when Ethan O’Reilly had Stiaan van Zyl caught behind for 10. Two balls later he found the edge of Dane Vilas’s bat and De Kock took the catch behind the stumps. The Cape based side crumbling on 50 for six.

Qaasim Adams and Louw desperately tried to build a partnership to help the Cobras post a score that they could try to defend. At the close of play their partnership was undefeated on 31.

Viljoen and O’Reilly have figures of two for 28 and two for 10 respectively. The Cobras will have to do something dramatic on day three to save the match.

Report Day 1

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.


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