The Cape Cobras collapsed to 169 all out in 42 overs in the Momentum One-Day Cup final at Newlands on Sunday, offering the Highveld Lions a run chase of just four runs an over.
They lost their last four wickets for just two runs. It could have been even worse, but for some horribly sloppy fielding throughout the innings which probably gifted the Cobras 15 runs. Only Justin Ontong provided any resistance, scoring 60 off 77 balls with just two fours.
Having been sent in to bat, the Cobras were playing within themselves and did not seem too pertubed at being restricted to 16-0 after five overs.
The breakthrough came from an overthrow, but Temba Bavuma was on hand to gather and nick the bails with a great throw, running out a rather pedestrian Richard Levi for 18.
Three overs later, the Cobras were three down after Andrew Puttick (21) edged behind off Dwaine Pretorius and Omphile Ramela (2) tried to cut a delivery from Pumelela Matshikwe and dragged it on. All of a sudden, the Cobras were three down for 43 after 11 overs.
Dane Vilas may not have read the standard instruction about rebuilding the innings, for he immediately took the attack to the Lions, and to Pumelela Matshikwe in particular, driving him back over his head and pulling him at will. But that was his undoing, going for an extravagant pull off Aaron Phangiso to be caught behind.
His 23 had come off 22 balls with four fours. Aviwe Mgijima did not last long after the Lions introduced Eddie Leie to supplement Phangiso as a twin spin attack, being bowled with Leie’s 10th delivery, playing on after scoring five.
The hundred came up immediately afterwards, off 21 overs, but it was the wickets-lost column that was the most telling. That column was further damaged when Dominic Hendricks took a brilliant catch at backward point to dismiss Wayne Parnell for seven. Six down for 119 at the halfway stage.
Even when Leie hobbled off halfway though his sixth over, when Alviro Petersen took over, the Cobras could not capitalise as spin tightened the noose. Just 38 runs were scored in 11 overs. The 150 came up after 34 overs, in which just 11 boundaries had been scored. Ontong battled away, bringing up his fifty with two fours and building a partnership of 48 with Dane Piedt.
But disaster followed in three overs when Matshikwe dismissed Piedt, caught behind for 22, and in his following over, removed Ontong, chipping tamely to mid-off. His 60 had been the anchor, but it was torn up far too early to help the Cobras.
The Lions had earlier sprung a surprise by including Bavuma, who was listed as injured through the week, as was Leie.