The Cobras struck hard and fast to restrict the Highveldt Lions to just 126 in the first franchise match to be played in Oudtshoorn.
In reply, the Cobras were 19 for one in a day which was shortened by bad light. The Sussex-bound Stiaan van Zyl was dismissed by the Derbyshire signing Hardus Viljoen for six. Andrew Puttick was also back in the pavilion, having retired hurt after being struck by Viljoen.
The ‘home’ team, now under new management, with embattled coach Paul Adams making way for Ashwell Prince, won the toss, took one look at the threatening skies and put the Lions in to bat.
Wayne Parnell, released from the Proteas squad when the second-Test team was finalised, struck in the third over to remove Rassie van der Dussen, with just two runs on the board. Twenty overs later, the Lions were 44-6.
The new captain, Dane Piedt, made some astute changes with a four-man pace attack and everyone gained some reward. As the lone spinner, he picked up 2-32 off 14 overs while Jason Smith, the 22-year-old medium pacer out of Wynberg Boys High, was outstanding, taking 2-8 off eight overs.
Parnell then stormed back into action, cleaning up the tail to finish with 4-26.
Reeza Hendricks made a token stand of 18 in the top order, but it was down to Dwaine Pretorius (35) and SA Schools captain Wian Mulder, unbeaten on 31, to lead the way.
The Cobras need this one. They have lost three and drawn two of their Sunfoil matches, hampered by an unseemly dispute between Adams and senior players, and Prince was brought in specifically to repair the damage.
‘We believe that Ashwell possesses the international pedigree, the management skills and the interpersonal prowess to rejuvenate the Cobras,’ said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of Western Cape Cricket, at the time of his appointment. ‘The ultimate challenge for any coach is to instil confidence in each player and to inspire them to perform at the peak of their collective powers.’
In Bloemfontein, heavy rain prevented any play on day one of the match between the defending champions and current log leaders, the Titans, and the Knights. More rain is forecast for Friday.
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