Wayne Parnell’s century led the way as the Cobras switched into one-day mode to win their first Sunfoil match of the season, beating the Lions by six wickets.
Promoted up the order for the occasion, he smashed 103 off 131 deliveries (7×4, 2×6), in tandem with Stiaan van Zyl, who rattled up 64 off 65 balls (7×4, 1×6) after the Cobras had been set a target of 237 in 45 overs by a resolute Lions tail in Oudtshoorn.
Knowing there was no time to waste, Parnell – who had been released by the Proteas to play in this match – and Omphile Ramela (36 off 34) put on an opening stand of 74 in 14.3 overs, and Van Zyl picked up the baton without hesitation, striking at almost a run a ball.
After his departure, there was a clatter of wickets as Justin Ontong (10) and Jason Smith fell in successive overs, but Dane Vilas was on hand to guide the Cobras to the line. He smashed a six and then took a single to give Parnell, then on 99, the strike. A four brought up his hundred and sealed the win.
That the Lions were able to even offer a fight was down to the rugged rearguard stand which was led by Bjorn Fortuin’s excellent 72.
Nicky van den Bergh (93) and Dwaine Pretorius’s 62 had laid the foundation, but when the Lions began the day, they were just 100 ahead with three wickets remaining. Wiaan Mulder (25) went early, but Fortuin was not to be moved through 179 deliveries, until he became Dane Paterson’s second victim of the day.
He received solid support from Hardus Viljoen, who hit six fours and six in his 46, making a stand of 79 for the ninth wicket, and giving the Lions attack something to bowl at.
Given the mood of the wounded Cobras, it was never going to be enough.
In Durban, the clouds lifted midway through the afternoon session enough for play to resume between the Dolphins and the Warriors, but so much time had been wasted that only 40 overs were played before the captains shook hands and called it a day.
In that time Vaughn van Jaarsveld advanced from 103 to 154 and Cody Chetty went to 46. Both fell to Basheru-Deen Walters within nine runs, but the day had almost run its course.
Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images