T20 Domestic Cup

Ontong heaps praise on Cobras

2014-11-03 14:58
Justin Ontong (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Despite the Titans seemingly coasting to victory at 151 for no loss in the 15th over, Cobras captain Justin Ontong said he always felt his side were in control of their RAM SLAM T20 match at the Wanderers on Sunday.

The Titans were chasing 208 and once they lost openers Dean Elgar and Henry Davids, each scoring 72 runs off 48 balls, the Cape side were able to hold out for a 14-run win.

"I thought they put us under pressure from the start, Henry and Dean played very well. But you know in this game you're only ever an over or two away," said Ontong.

"Towards the end I thought we executed our skills very well."

West Indian Kieron Pollard was the pick of the bowlers for the Cobras with 3/22 in his four overs, and Ontong said his overseas professional paved the way for the attack.

"Kieron got us into the game. He bowled intelligently with some slower balls. The rest of the guys nailed their death bowling.

"We're happy with that part of the game, but we need to work on taking wickets upfront. It was tough because it was very good wicket."

Batting first, the Cobras were led by a solo effort at the top of the order by opener Richard Levi, who dealt mostly in boundaries with seven fours and seven sixes, in a 34-ball knock of 81.

In the second half of the Cobras' innings, Pollard took up the responsibility with 72 from 36 balls to get the Cobras past the 200 mark.

"With our batting I thought we were very good. Richard was outstanding, at one stage he was looking to get 150 there," said Ontong.

"Then we were very happy with Pollard, he showed his class with bat and ball."

In the last match of a triple-header opening day of the T20 competition, the Lions, chasing 173, eased to a six wicket victory over the Dolphins, with seven balls to spare.

West Indian Chris Gayle starred with both bat and ball, taking 4/36 and smashing his way to 56 from 38 balls opening the batting for the hosts.

"We played very well under pressure at home," said Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana.

"We felt that 180 or 190 was par on that wicket and when we came in we just needed a good start. A guy like Chris, with Jean Symes, came through for us in the end with that brilliant partnership."

Symes produced exactly what was needed for the Lions with 58 from 50, and shared an 89-run partnership with Gayle.

Toyana said Gayle was already having a positive effect on his team.

"Chris is a very cool guy. He was a bit late today, because he was mobbed by fans when he arrived at the ground.

"For him to come and bowl like that in his first game - he controlled that middle part of the innings for us brilliantly. He's dancing in the changeroom now."

In the first game of the day, the Knights beat the Warriors by 74 runs after posting a total of 205 batting first.


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