MiWay T20 Challenge
Lions topple champs Cobras
Johannesburg - The bizhub Highveld Lions had Jean Symes to thank as he lifted them to a stunning, three-wicket triumph over the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in their MiWay T20 Challenge encounter at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday.
Having fallen to 97 for four, the Lions looked a long way from their target of 179 to win. But Symes (35 not out) held the innings together, before spanking a six and a single off Johann Louw's first two balls of the final over to secure a nerveless win for the hosts.
Skipper Alviro Petersen had departed to the second ball of the run-chase, caught behind off Vernon Philander. His opening partner, Jonathan Vandiar, followed him soon after, as he was castled by Rory Kleinveldt for eight.
From there, young gun Quinton de Kock showed why he has been earmarked for bigger things, as he clubbed a brutal 53 off just 29 balls. The talented under-19 star smashed three sixes and four fours, as he added 50 with Neil McKenzie (29 off 24) for the fourth wicket.
But when they both fell to Dane Piedt in quick succession, the Lions were suddenly 97 for four, still requiring 81 runs off 62 balls. Piedt recorded fine figures of 3-24 in his four overs.
Dwaine Pretorius (20 off 11 balls) kept the rate ticking, before Jean Symes took over the clubbing. He smashed four fours and a six, to take the Lions home from an unlikely position.
Earlier, the Cobras had been sent in to bat by Petersen, and they had their senior men to thank for reaching 178 for six. Owais Shah blasted five sixes in his 33-ball innings of 48, as he added 53 for the fourth wicket with Mark Boucher, who ended unbeaten on 36.
The Lions snaffled Richard Levi early, as he fell for just three off ten balls. His opening partner, Stiaan van Zyl, blasted seven fours in a breezy knock of 39 off 25 balls.
The Cobras fell to 98 for three as Vilas was nabbed by Jean Symes, but that paved the way for Boucher to join the hard-hitting Shah. Their stand of 53 was ended by speedster Ethan O'Reilly, but not before Shah had carted five sixes to lift the Cobras beyond 150.
Boucher (36 not out) clubbed a six and three fours, as he saw the visitors to 178 for six at the end of their dig. For the Lions, O'Reilly's 2-26 was the standout, as the rest were put to the sword by Boucher and Shah in particular.