Cape Town - Wayne Parnell played the innings of his life in the shortest
format to take the Cape Cobras to second place on the Ram Slam T20 Challenge
log with a 6-wicket victory over the Highveld Lions at the Bidvest
Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
The Cobras now have 20 points with two games to play while
the Sunfoil Dolphins have 18 points with one match to play which is against the
Cobras. This match could well decide who finishes second on the log although
the Warriors are by no means out of the picture either. The Cobras match
against the Warriors on Wednesday is also a critical one.
The Lions can still reach the knock-out stage but they will
have to win both their remaining fixtures. The Titans are now
confirmed as the top team on the log and get direct access to a home final.
Ironically, Parnell would never have got the chance to bat
at the top of the order had the Cobras not suffered yet another injury – this
time a freak concussion for opening batsman Richard Levi who was hit on the
back of the head while fielding.
The turning point of the match, although it was not evident
at the time, came when Parnell, who opened with Andrew Puttick, was caught by
Thami Tsolekile off the bowling of Hardus Viljoen. On referral the delivery was
confirmed as a no ball and Parnell, who had 20 at the time, went on to make a
match-winning 99 (57 balls, 9 fours and 5 sixes). The next highest contribution
to the Cobras’ winning total was Andrew Puttick’s 19 which illustrates just how
much he dominated the runs chase.
The Lions looked to have posted a competitive total of 153/5
after winning the toss thanks to an unbroken partnership of 53 in 4.3 overs
between Thami Tsolekile and Dwaine Pretorius but in the end they had no answer
to Parnell’s onslaught.
Parnell was named RAM Slammer of the day while Justin Kemp,
playing his 100th game in the T20 format, was named RAM Deliverer of
the day for his figures of 2/26.
Levi was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with mild
concussion and kept in hospital overnight as a precautionary measure.