Wayne Parnell smashed a brilliant 99 to take the Cape Cobras to a six-wicket win over the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers on Sunday.
He was caught at backward point going for another big one off spinner Aaron Phangiso to bring up his hundred. Nonetheless, it was career best, containing nine fours and five sixes off 57 balls and breaking the back of the race to a target of 154.
Parnell was batting at the top of the order only because of a freak accident to Richard Levi, who was struck on the head as a teammate returned the ball from the boundary with some force during the Lions’ innings.
Levi was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with mild concussion. He was kept in overnight as a precaution.
The Lions will have cause to rue their luck because Parnell, on 20, was given not out when caught by Thami Tsolekile off the bowling of Hardus Viljoen. On referral the delivery was confirmed as a no ball.
Earlier, the Lions owed what turned out to be an inadequate total thanks to an unbroken partnership of 53 in 4.3 overs between Thami Tsolekile (25 off 14) and Dwaine Pretorius (33 off 18) after being held to 100-5 in the 16th over.
The Cobras now have 20 points with two games to play while the Sunfoil Dolphins have 18 points with one match to play – against the Cobras. The Cobras match against the Warriors on Wednesday is also a critical one.
The Lions can still reach the knock-out stage but they will have to win both their remaining fixtures. The Unlimited Titans are now confirmed as the top team on the log and get direct access to a home final.