Akhona Mnyaka took three wickets in the last over for just three runs to squeeze out a stunning three-run win for the Cape Cobras over the Highveld Lions in Joburg.
Pieter Malan provided the backbone to a strong Cobras score of 281-9 off their 50 overs, scoring a superb 102 off 127 balls. Malan and his brother Janneman Malan put on 44 for the first wicket off 8.4 overs, followed by a 58-run stand for the second wicket with Zubayr Hamza (28 off 36 balls).
Cobras skipper JP Duminy had been dismissed for a two-ball duck on his return to competitive action last Friday against the Titans, but the Proteas all-rounder found his form against the Lions as he scored 62 off 64 balls (3×4, 2×6). Duminy and Malan added 115 for the third wicket in just under 20 overs.
The Cobras tail kept the scoreboard rolling to take them to a defendable total, and in response, the Lions found themselves in trouble at 73-4 in the 16th over. Dominic Hendricks and Dwaine Pretorius then added 139 runs for the fifth wicket to take the Lions to 212 at the start of the 42nd over to keep their side in the hunt.
Hendricks fell by hitting out at Duminy (who had opened the bowling) with his score on 107 off 118 balls (12×4), but Pretorius kept the home fires burning, taking his side to the brink of victory.
Needing seven runs to win off the last over, Mnyaka bowled Bjorn Fortuin (13) with the first ball, conceded singles off the next two balls and then yorked Aaron Phangiso off the fourth ball. The final ball of the match saw Pretorius lash out, only for Pieter Malan to hold a vital catch and secure the win.
Pretorius fell for 99 off 105 balls (3×4, 5×6) as the Lions ended on 278-9 off their 50 overs.
Mnyaka ended with 3-49 to claim the Player of the Match honours, while Rory Kleinveldt (2-43) and Dane Paterson (2-50) also picked up valuable wickets in a vital win for the Cobras.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images