One Day Cup
Lions claim 3rd victory
Cape Town - The bizhub Highveld Lions continued their tremendous run of form as they registered a 19-run victory against the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in the Momentum One-Day Cup at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Friday.
The top-scorer for the Lions was Gulam Bodi who made 45 off 70 balls, but a series of useful contributions, including an innings of 36 off 54 from man-of-the-match Zander de Bruyn, saw the visitors post a total of 248 for nine on a pitch that proved slightly difficult for batting.
The Cobras batsmen provided the sternest test yet for the Lions bowlers, but Geoffrey Toyana’s charges always seemed to have the measure of their opponents. Aaron Phangiso’s figures of 10-0-31-1 stood out from those of his colleagues, but it was a collective bowling effort that eventually saw the Cobras bowled out for 229 in 46.5 overs.
Cobras skipper Justin Ontong bemoaned his side’s performance with the bat at the post-match presentation. “We’re very disappointed. I thought we didn’t get a partnership going and, although a couple of the guys got starts, we just couldn’t really kick on. We’ve got to do some hard work now and get some wins under our belts,” he said.
Lions captain Stephen Cook was satisfied with the win but conceded that their efforts in Cape Town left room for improvement. “We probably didn’t play as well as we have the last few games. Perhaps we were a tad lucky to get over the line at the end, but that keeps everyone honest and working hard at their game,” he said.
Cook (26 off 34) had earlier won the toss and chosen to bat first. He and fellow opener Bodi got the innings off to a good start with a partnership of 65, before the former was dismissed by Justin Kemp (10-3-23-2) in the 13th over.
The visitors never quite got going from that point onward as the Cobras bowlers kept them in check with wickets at regular intervals.
In the end, the Lions could only manage 58 runs off the final 10 overs and were forced to settle for a par score of 248 for nine in their 50 overs.
Richard Levi (30 off 27) struck a few early boundaries to get the Cobras reply underway, but fellow opener Andrew Puttick (13 off 32) struggled against some canny bowling from the Lions pace bowlers. Puttick’s unconvincing innings came to an end early in the tenth over as Hardus Viljoen (8-1-36-2) had him caught behind with the score on 45.
Levi initially appeared undeterred by the loss of his partner as he struck consecutive boundaries a few balls later. However, he perished in the next over and the home side were 55 for two.
Number-three batsman Stiaan van Zyl (25 off 31) was joined by Yaseen Vallie (24 off 39), and the two endeavoured to get the run chase back on track. The pair kept the Cobras up with the required rate and were beginning to look threatening before Van Zyl fell in the 20th over to end a useful stand of 44.
Ontong (37 off 67) strode to the crease to join Vallie, but the latter didn’t last much longer and when new-man Dane Vilas (eight off nine) was dismissed, the Cobras were suddenly up against it at 144 for five after 32.1 overs.
Despite some stubborn resistance at the end from Justin Kemp (24 off 32) and Johann Louw (21 off 24) – and three dropped catches late on by the fielding side - the Cobras were always up against it and were eventually dismissed in the 47th over just 20 runs short of victory.
The win sees the Lions extend their lead at the top of the table with three wins from three games, while the Cobras remain in third place with four points.