Potchefstroom -The Nashua Cape Cobras were left to rue a string of missed opportunities with the bat as the bizhub Highveld Lions took control on day one of their Sunfoil Series match at Senwes Park on Thursday.
All of the Cobras top seven reached 20 but only Richard Levi made a half-century and the Lions were rewarded for their perseverance by reducing the visitors to 279 for seven at stumps.
Levi’s knock also had an element of disappointment as he fell for 95 - the second time in as many games that he has passed 80 and failed to reach three figures.
The opener nevertheless gave the Cobras an excellent start, putting on 65 for the first wicket with Omphile Ramela (20) and then 87 for the second with Keegan Petersen (47).
Levi’s natural game meant that the scoreboard ticked over at a healthy rate as well, as he scored his runs off just 133 balls to take the Cobras to 152/1 prior to his departure.
Dwaine Pretorius (3/57) claimed the wickets of both Ramela and Levi, and the latter dismissal ensured that the second half of the day belonged to the Lions.
Pumi Matshikwe (2/42) backed Pretorius up by bowling Petersen and Yaseen Vallie (26) in consecutive overs, before Pretorius returned to dismiss Cobras captain Dane Vilas for 24.
Sybrand Engelbrecht and Shaheen Khan threatened to resurrect the innings with a stand of 40, before debutant Sean Jamison (2/51) grabbed his first two wickets for the Lions by having both Engelbrecht (37) and George Linde caught behind.
Khan (21 not out) and Mthokozisi Shezi battled through to stumps, which came six overs early due to bad light.
The scoreboard, supplied by Sapa:
Cape Cobras first innings
R Levi c Tsolekile b Pretorius 95
O Ramela lbw b Pretorius 20
K Petersen b Matshikwe 47
M Vallie b Matshikwe 26
D Vilas c Hendricks b Pretorius 24
S Engelbrecht c Tsolekile b Jamison 37
S Khan not out 21
G Linde c Tsolekile b Jamison 2
M Shezi not out 0
Extras: (lb5, nb2) 7
Total: (7 wickets) 279 - 90 overs
Fall of wickets: 1-65, 2-152, 3-191, 4-192, 5-229, 6-269, 7-279
Bowling: Matshikwe 18-5-42-2, Mazibuko 12-1-52-0, Jamison 15-5-51-2, Pretorius 20-5-57-3, Deeb 25-5-72-0.