Johannesburg - A fine all-round display of bowling by the Cape Cobras attack ensured that the Highveld Lions were dismissed for a below-par 202 within 74 overs, in their SuperSport match at the Wanderers, on Wednesday.
With the evening shadows lengthening across the Bullring, the umpires called the players off the park with the Cobras on 69 for one, with Andrew Puttick on 34 and Stiaan van Zyl on 11.
Earlier, after winning the toss and electing to take first strike, the Lions were soon in trouble losing the wicket of Stephen Cook in the fifth over of the day caught at third slip by Justin Kemp off Vernon Philander.
Fellow opener, Alviro Petersen (12), lingered as did Jonathan Vandiar (5) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (7), but their inability to coax the ball off the square proved to be their undoing.
And it seemed probable that, even allowing for a pitch that has played reliably, save for the occasional ball keeping low, the hosts would be put out of their lingering misery by being bowled out cheaply before the close of play.
A determined partnership, however, of 45 between Neil McKenzie and Zander de Bruyn permitted a stay of execution, but it proved to be only temporary as McKenzie departed after being trapped in front by Monde Zondeki for an obdurate 82-ball 30.
De Bruyn faced a similar number of deliveries before he was sent packing by Philander for 35, to give the seamer his third wicket of the innings.
However, an eighth-wicket stand of 62 between Cliffe Deacon and Robbie Frylinck gave the impression that batting had become easier on a glorious day and whatever demons had been lurking under the strip had packed up and gone home.
But the hope that had sprung eternal in the Lions' breasts was doused as Robbie Peterson trapped Deacon in the crease for 27.
Monty Panesar was caught by Justin Ontong at mid-wicket trying to pull Alistair Gray, and Pumelela Matshikwe went lbw to Peterson, and all resistance was crushed, Frylinck was the last man standing on 46.