The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras won the toss and decided to bowl first against the bizhub Highveld Lions in the Momentum One Day Cup final replay at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
According to the supersport.com website, the match on Friday evening had been abandoned after just 16.2 overs of the Cobras innings when heavy rain called a halt to proceedings. A new toss on Saturday allowed the teams to make changes to their sides, although none were made.
The Cobras captain decided to bowl first in order to "make early inroads and then chase down the target."
Stephen Cook, the Lions captain, said that "it's a final, so the guys will be up for it even after last night," in reference to having to lift the spirits after having the visitors on the ropes.
The Cobras will want to put up a better showing than they offered on Friday before the rain intervened. The men in blue were utterly destroyed by Hardus Viljoen, who claimed 4-37 in his opening spell of seven overs.
Viljoen had Andrew Puttick (3) caught at second slip by Alviro Peterson, who took a brilliant, one-handed catch, diving low to his right. Neil McKenzie then took a regulation catch at first slip to remove the dangerous Richard Levi (11) before rain forced the players from the field for the first interruption, with the Cobras on 22 for two.
Two balls after the resumption, Viljoen struck again, trapping Dane Vilas in front without scoring, to leave the visitors on 22 for three. A few overs later, Viljoen grabbed his fourth victim.
The classy Stiaan van Zyl struck two leg-side boundaries before edging a delivery, that bounced a little more that he expected, to Quinton de Kock behind the stumps. At 36 for four, the Cape side were in all sorts of trouble.
Pumelela Matshikwe played the perfect supporting role for his new-ball partner, as he conceded only 22 runs in his seven over spell, creating the pressure for Viljoen to grab the wickets.
The Cobras captain, Justin Ontong, and Yaseen Vallie, had begun to resuscitate the innings before the heavens opened up for a second time. Vallie was on 21 and Ontong on 12, when the umpires, Johan Cloete and Marais Erasmus, took the players off with the score on 64 for four.
The weather forecast in Johannesburg for Saturday is positive, with chances of thunderstorms throughout the day. Should the match not be able to be concluded on Saturday, then the match will be declared a draw with the teams sharing the title.
BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: Stephen Cook (captain), Alviro Peterson, 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