One Day Cup

Lions must maintain 'momentum'

2012-11-08 11:00
Stephen Cook (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Highveld Lions' stand-in captain Stephen Cook hopes his side can hold off the pressure at the top of the table as they look to carry their form in the early stages of the domestic One-day Cup cricket competition.

The Lions romped to their second win of the campaign, bagging a commanding six-wicket victory over the Warriors with more than 23 overs to spare in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday night.

"We're obviously very happy with a second victory, and to get a bonus point is all the better," said Cook, who is standing in for regular skipper Alviro Petersen while he is away on international duty.

"The guys have got to just try and continue to bring themselves mentally up for every game, and hopefully it continues."

The Lions, who reached the final of the Champions League T20 tournament last month, thumped the Titans by 269 runs in their opening match of the one-day competition last week.

Cook said their bowlers had done "a terrific job" in restricting the Cobras to 110 runs, with paceman Hardus Viljoen taking 4/17 and spinner Aaron Phangiso returning 3/16.

He also praised veterans Neil McKenzie and Zander de Bruyn for their unbroken 52-run stand for the fifth wicket.

McKenzie, unbeaten on 29, and De Bruyn, on 14 not out, formed a recovery effort after the visitors lost three wickets in nine balls in a mini-collapse.

"We lost a few wickets in the middle overs, and then Neil McKenzie and Zander de Bruyn put on a lovely partnership there to see us home -- nice, calm heads, which is what we expect from those senior players."

Warriors' captain Davy Jacobs believed the home side could have pulled off a win if the veteran pairing had not stabilised the Lions' innings.

"When Zander and McKenzie got together they needed 50, and they showed some experience there and they did well and basically won them the game there," Jacobs said.

"If we managed to get another breakthrough there, we would have been in with a shout."

Jacobs said they had not done enough with the bat to give themselves a real chance.

"I thought it was a great effort with the ball, and in the field, but it was never going to be enough," he said.

"I thought if we could have got 140 it would have been decent, but it's a pity we couldn't realise it earlier and assess that pitch when we batted."

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Titans' opener Henry Davids made 92 runs, paving the way as they beat the Cape Cobras by four wickets, with 20 balls to spare, in Benoni.

On Friday, the Cobras will host the Lions at Newlands, and the Dolphins face the Warriors at Kingsmead.

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