A calamitous batting display from the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in the second innings of their Sunfoil Series match against the bizhub Highveld Lions at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Friday, ended with the home side on 81 for six at stumps on day two, a slender lead of only 35, with four second innings wickets in hand.
Johann Louw, on eight not out, and Qaasim Adams, on 27, will resume on day three, as they look to build on their undefeated 31-run 7th-wicket partnership, after the top six batsmen offered little resistance and scant regard for patience.
A brilliant opening spell from Cliffe Deacon and Hardus Viljoen, reduced the Cape side to 13 for two by the 5th over. Alistair Gray (5) was caught behind off the bowling of Deacon, and then Viljoen accounted for Andrew Puttick (6) in the very next over.
Justin Ontong was bowled by Viljoen in the 11th over, with the home side on 30 for three. Three wickets then fell in the 17th and 18th overs, as first, Richard Levi (12) played across the line and had his stumps disturbed by a delivery from Zander de Bruyn; Stiaan van Zyl (10) then chased a wide delivery from Ethan O'Reilly in the next over, edging it to Quinton de Kock behind the stumps, for his third catch of the innings.
De Kock then picked up his fourth victim of the afternoon, when Dane Vilas got the faintest of inside edges off O'Reilly's very next delivery. Johann Louw survived the hat-trick ball, tentatively pushing forward.
Viljoen bowled much better than he did in the first innings and ended the day with 2-28 from 10 overs. O'Reilly, too, bowled better, claiming 2-10 in four overs. The main destroyer from the first innings, Zander de Bruyn, ended with 1-15, while Deacon claimed 1-17.
The bizhub Highveld Lions had earlier been dismissed for 270, a lead of 46 runs, 20 minutes after the tea break. Cliffe Deacon had top scored for the visitors with a well played 71, which included 10 boundaries, off 97 balls, and shared in a 110-run 7th-wicket partnership with Thami Tsolekile, who scored 58.
Lizaad Williams, who claimed career best figures of 4-62, brought the home team back into the match by claiming three wickets in the morning session, after Johann Louw had removed Stephen Cook (37) in the 5th over of the morning. Beuran Hendricks had accounted for Temba Bavuma (34) before Williams got rid of Neil McKenzie (14), Zander de Bruyn (1) and Brett Pelser for eight.
At 131 for six at lunch, the visitors were in a spot of bother, still trailing the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras first innings score of 224 all out. But Tsolekile and Deacon, who was dropped twice during his innings, accelerated the scoring rate after the lunch period to put the home side under pressure.
Louw ended with figures of 3-64, to take his wicket tally for the campaign to 29 wickets, while Langeveldt claimed 2-74.
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras have claimed 6.48 bonus points from the match while the visitors edged ahead, claiming 7.4 bonus points.
Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras: Andre Puttick, Alistair Gray, Stiaan van Zyl, Richard Levi, Justin Ontong (capt), Qaasim Adams, Dane Vilas (w/k), Johann Louw, Lizaad Williams, Charl Langeveldt, Beuran Hendricks.
bizhub Highveld Lions: Stephen Cook (capt), Quinton de Kock (w/k), Temba Bavuma, Neil McKenzie, Zander de Bruyn, Thami Tsolekile, Brett Pelser, Cliffe Deacon, Imran Tahir, Hardus Viljoen, Ethan O'Reilly.