Cobras crush Lions
The Nashua Cape Cobras beat the bizhub Highveld Lions comprehensively by 42 runs in their Standard Bank Pro 20 Series match at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday thanks to a remarkable rearguard-action by Richard Levi and clever spin bowling by the underrated Justin Ontong.
Herschelle Gibbs (53, 32 balls, 6x4, 2x6) made the early running for the hosts.
But Levi resurrected the innings with a magnificent late onslaught as he smashed his way to 43 off twenty deliveries, with three fours and three sixes.
It was largely thanks to Levi that the Cobras, in dire straits on 125/7 after seventeen overs, rallied to 179 all out in twenty.
The Lions were dismissed for 137 runs in the nineteenth over.
Charl Langeveldt, with 3/18, struck twice in the penultimate over to send the Lions packing, but Ontong did the damage earlier.
The last three overs of the Cobra-innings produced 54 runs as the powerful right-hander Levi cut loose.
He slammed nineteen runs in an over by Werner Coetsee and another nineteen in an over from Cliffie Deacon.
The Lions started off well as Neil McKenzie (27, 31 balls, 3x4) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (39, 22 balls, 5x4, 2x6) added 62 runs in 6.1 overs.
They had the visitors in a comfortable position on 82/1 after ten overs.
But the double-strike by off-spinner Ontong in the eleventh over changed the complexion of the match.
Van Jaarsveld tried to clear the boundary off Ontong and presented Charl Langeveldt off the long-on boundary with a catch.
McKenzie was bowled by Ontong in the same over as the Lions slipped to 84/3.
Ontong took a third wicket in his next over when Zander de Bruyn was caught at gully by Vernon Philander for 4.
From 99/4, the Lions found the going tough as they needed 80 runs off 40 balls to win it.
The left-arm spinner Robin Peterson applied the breaks with accurate bowling and presented the Lions with an easy but dangerous option – go big or go home.
Peterson’s double-break in the sixteenth over when he accounted for the big-hitting Dane Villas for 32, and Werner Coetsee, effectively terminated the chances of the Lions when they plummeted to 126/6.
Ontong finished with 3/27 in three overs. Peterson captured 2/25 in four overs.
In the Cobra-innings, Gibbs and Peterson were off to a flyer as they reached 64/1 after 6.2 overs.
But Aaron Phangiso, with 3/23, and Robbie Frylinck, with 4/31 applied the breaks.
A middle-order wobble saw the Cobras slip to 125/7 in the seventeenth over.
But Levi saved the day for the hosts with his rearguard-action in the final three overs.