Cape Town - The Cape Cobras made a gallant attempt to keep their SuperSport Series title hopes alive at the Wanderers on Saturday as they scored at nearly five runs to the over when they finally got their first innings under way against the Highveld Lions.But it looked like being all in vain after the Titans wrapped up their match against the Dolphins at SuperSport Park by a record franchise margin of an innings and 325 runs with almost two full days to spare.
It gave them 21.46 points in the match with Ethy Mbhalati taking five wickets in the second innings and eight in the match to be named Man of the Match.
For most of the day the Cobras scored at the rate needed to match the Titans for batting bonus points but the problem remained that they had only scored two bowling points to the four of the Titans and their chances of winning outright were minimal.
What they needed was for Dane Vilas to produce another of his miracle innings but he was not able to oblige and the major contribution came from the promising Yaseen Vallie who compiled his seventh first-class century and finished the day on 142 (183 balls, 20 fours) out of a total of 342/6.
At that stage the Cobras still trailed by 68 runs on the first innings with four wickets in hand.
So far they have scored 6.84 points and need approximately 10.7 plus the outright victory to retain their title. The odds are totally against them but stranger things have happened in cricket...
The match between the Knights and the Warriors at St George’s Park was also heading for an interesting finish thanks to the franchise record seventh wicket partnership of 214 between Morne van Wyk (155 off 168 balls, 26 fours) and Ryan McLaren (90 off 172 balls, 12 fours).
It was Van Wyk’s 14th first-class century and at least made certain that he will go into the domestic T20 in top form.
When the pair came together the Knights had a lead of only 14 runs and an early Warriors victory looked on the cards.
By the time the Knights had finished their innings, they were able to set the Warriors a challenging target of 296 and the match had been turned right around when Quinton Friend had an opening burst of 3/4 to reduce the Warriors to 28/3 by the close of play. That leaves them needing a further 268 runs for victory.
Earlier Gurshwin Rabie had taken four wickets in an innings for the second time in the match for an impressive Warriors debut.