A magnificent career-best century by Richard Levi propelled the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras to a mammoth 316 for seven in their Momentum One Day Cup at Boland Park here on Wednesday against the Nashua Titans.
The Cobras won the toss and elected to bat.
Levi dominated the innings and smashed 166 off 134 balls, with twelve fours and six sixes, the joint second-highest score in domestic List A-matches.
The Titans-bowling was below par, to put it mildly.
Levi departed in the 44th over when he chipped a delivery by the spinner Martin van Jaarsveld back to the bowler. With his departure, the hosts slipped to 266 for two.
Levi dominated a superb first-wicket partnership of 158 off 24.2 overs with Andrew Puttick.
The belligerent Levi had the hosts off to a flyer as they reached 116 without loss after fifteen overs.
The seam bowlers, including Albie Morkel, David Wiese and Juan de Villiers, strayed onto Levi’s pads and he made them pay dearly for their lack of accuracy.
The Cobras scored 60 runs in the mandatory power play of ten overs, and then pummelled 56 runs in their batting power play in the next five overs.
Levi looked untroubled as he hit four sixes and eight fours on his way to a 68-ball century.
The broad-shouldered right-hander was particularly severe on the seam bowlers, who regularly bowled too straight or tended to feed Levi’s strengths through midwicket and square-leg.
The Titans-coach, Matthew Maynard, must have been fuming because it appeared that his charges had torn up the ‘script’.
They seldom bowled outside the off-stump to Levi to force him to play through the covers or square on the off-side.
Instead, their leg-side line fed his strengths and he played a marvellous innings full of breath-taking shots.
Puttick played a pivotal role in establishing a perfect platform for the rest of the top-order. He rotated the strike intelligently to give the in-form Levi the opportunity to accelerate the run-rate.
Puttick was trapped in front by Roelof van der Merwe for 46. He faced 72 balls and hit two fours.
Stiaan van Zyl was a perfect foil for Levi by rotating the strike and punishing anything loose. His 100-run partnership with Levi came off 110 balls.
Van Zyl looked particularly devastating through or over midwicket and completed his half-century off 57 balls.
He finally holed out to Van Jaarsveld at midwicket off Juan de Villiers for 59, facing 62 balls with five fours.
The slowness of the wicket was evident in the latter part of the innings.
A double-strike by the visitors in the 47th over which saw the Cobras slip from 287 for three to 288 for five, pegged back the hosts a tad.
Justin Ontong was run out for a duck, and Dane Villas attempted an ambitious drive, only to be bowled by CJ de Villiers for 5.
The Cobras lost their momentum a bit over the final ten overs, but that was not only due to the greater consistency achieved by CJ de Villiers and his fellow-bowlers, but also an indication that the wicket slowed down to a degree.
The hosts managed 81 runs in that period and lost six wickets.
CJ de Villiers was the pick of a mediocre attack as he finished with 2-29 in five overs.
Van der Merwe, arguably the Titans’ best performer this season, captured 1-39 in eight overs.
Van Jaarsveld captured 1-34 in six overs.
The off-spinner Eden Links finished with a credible 0-24 in six overs.
Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras: Justin Ontong (capt), Richard Levi, Andrew Puttick, Stiaan van Zyl, Mohammad Vallie, Justin Kemp, Dane Villas, Alastair Gray, Johann Louw, Lizaad Williams, Charl Langeveldt.
Nashua Titans: Martin van Jaarsveld (capt), Heino Kuhn, Henry Davids, Mangaliso Mosehle, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, David Wiese, Roelof van der Merwe, Eden Links, JP de Villiers, CJ de Villiers.