Paarl clash a tame draw
Paarl - The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and the bizhub Highveld Lions settled for a share of the spoils at the start of the final session of play in the SuperSport Series clash at Boland Park on Sunday.
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The Lions had just taken tea with their second innings total on 113/2 (50 overs), which gave them a lead of 86 runs with eight wickets remaining. But no sooner had the players taken up their positions after the tea break when the captains agreed to call it a day.
The Lions scored 458 all out in their first innings, and the Cobras were dismissed early on Sunday for 485 all out (170.2 overs) after they resumed their overnight first innings of 416/7 (157 overs).
Their first-session Sunday stint at the crease took in a mere 13.2 overs and they managed to add 69 runs, which offered them a slender 27-run lead.
Of the three wickets to fall, the most notable one was that of Ryan Canning who finally succumbed with his score on 121 (eight fours, two sixes) after Lions paceman Ethan O'Reilly (2/64) broke through his defences.
The Lions would also have breathed a sigh of relief when spinner Dale Deeb put paid to Vernon Philander's innings which ended on 44 after he held off their attack for more than two hours in Saturday's final session.
This wicket allowed Deeb to round off his five-wicket haul (5/131), a first-time feat for him in the SuperSport series.
The Cobras' eyes would have lit up when the Lions lost two wickets even before they managed to see off the deficit of 27 runs.
It was the unusually early introduction of the spinners Claude Henderson and Justin Ontong that brought about the disarray in the Lions' top-order.
As the second innings was heading towards the lunch break, Henderson captured the wicket of Lions opener Alviro Petersen (2) with his first ball.
Seven overs later Henderson's fellow spinner Ontong struck to dismiss Jonathan Vandiar (8) and the total stood at 23/2 after 13 overs.
Stephen Cook (48 not out) and Zander de Bruyn (48 not out) staged a recovery with solid batting and surviving the second session, by which stage the total of 113/2 (50 overs) offered the Lions an 86-run lead.
In the context of the match, the situation offered no prospect of a conclusion, and the Lions returned home with 7.4 bonus points in the bag.
The Cobras pocketed 4.46 bonus points which saw them drop into fourth place on the latest standings, just behind the Lions who moved into third place.