Fifties from Rassie van der Dussen and Dominic Hendricks allowed the Lions to raise themselves above the foot of the table with a three-wicket win over the Cobras at Boland Park on Friday evening.
The defending champions displayed the winning pedigree that has so far been lacking from their campaign so far. They produced some clinical bowling displays up front, before a pair of well-measured knocks from Van der Dussen and Hendricks.
The pair looked comfortable throughout the chase, but made it difficult for themselves towards the end, eventually only winning with a ball to spare.
The Cobras were all at sea after they chose to bat first, as they were left reeling on 8-3 thanks to the new-ball efforts of spinner Bjorn Fortuin (2-32) and Carmi le Roux (2-56). But the middle-order responded emphatically.
Justin Ontong and Dane Vilas (42) got to work with a well-manufactured 82-run stand, with Ontong pushing on to score a vital 80. Ontong found willing partners after the dismissal of Vilas, with Aviwe Mgijima (58) and Dane Piedt (42) carrying the side over the 200 mark.
The Lions lost their way somewhat during this phase, but Wiaan Mulder had a hand in all five of the remaining wickets, assisting with two run-outs and finishing with figures of 3-50 to restrict the Cobras to 244.
The visitors were well set, thanks to an industrious 42-run opening stand between Van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks (21). The latter fell to the impressive Lizaad Williams, who finished with figures of 3-31, including three maidens.
Despite Williams’ efforts, the rest of the bowling attack failed to come to the party as Van der Dussen and Dominic Hendricks took the sting out of the chase with a 106-run stand.
Van der Dussen was run out on 66, but Hendricks provided the stability with an excellent 91 off 108 balls. Mulder’s 25 off 29 balls proved critical, and despite him falling in the penultimate over, Hendricks fittingly smashed a boundary off the second-last ball to see his side home. It was the Lions’ second win of the season, while it was a third defeat in five for the inconsistent Cobras.
The inconsistency of this year’s One Day Cup continued in all parts of the country on Friday evening, as the Dolphins were thrashed by the Warriors in Port Elizabeth to lose their second match of the season.
The Dolphins still hold on to top spot, but they were thoroughly outplayed by a Colin Ingram-inspired Warriors side, with the skipper striking a century before no less than seven bowlers took wickets to contribute towards the Dolphins’ 144 all out, with Morne van Wyk top-scoring with 36. The Warriors lifted themselves up to third with their second win of the season.
Over in Benoni the Sunfoil Series champions the Knights put in a complete performance to see off the Titans by 22 runs. Rudi Second (75) and Leus du Plooy (72) got the Central franchise to 249, before Mbulelo Budaza clinched career-best figures of 4-43 to seal their second win of the season. It means five teams now sit on two wins apiece, with the Dolphins on three victories.
Titans vs Knights scorecard
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/Backpage Pix