An allround team performance enabled the bizhub Highveld Lions to defeat the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras by eight wickets, shortly before tea on day three of their Sunfoil Series match at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, ending on 125 for two.
Quinton de Kock went on the attack from the word go, and brought up his half century off 70 balls, including ten boundaries, while Stephen Cook watched from the non-strikers end. The visitors were finding life easy until Alistair Gray was given the ball by his captain, Justin Ontong. Gray removed Cook (16), who savagely pulled a short ball from Gray, only to find the bread-basket of Richard Levi at short square-leg.
De Kock (55) then slashed at a ball from Gray and found a thin top-edge, to be caught by Andrew Puttick in the slips. But Neil McKenzie, 28 not out and Temba Bavuma, on 14 not out, took their side home in electric style.
McKenzie smashed five fours and a six in his 14-ball knock, while Bavuma was slightly more sedate in facing 16 balls for his 14 runs. Gray ended with 2-23 from three overs.
The hosts had resumed day three on 81 for six in their second innings, a lead of only 35 runs, before losing Johann Louw in the fourth over of the morning, when Imran Tahir dismantled his stumps with a googly.
Charl Langeveldt then joined Qaasim Adams at the crease, and the pair added a valuable 63 runs for the 8th wicket. Adams brought up his 11th first class half century off 55 balls in 80 minutes, including six boundaries. The pair brought up the 50-run partnership off just 29 deliveries, but Langevedlt was eventually trapped lbw by Imran Tahir for a gutsy 19, which lasted 58 minutes.
Beuran Hedricks (0) lasted all of 14 minutes before being trapped in front by Zander de Bruyn. Adams was then caught off the bowling of De Bruyn for his highest Sunfoil Series score of 88, which end the innings.
De Bruyn, has he had done in the first innings, led the way by claiming 3-16, while Ethan O'Reilly, Imran Tahir and Hardus Viljoen, all claimed two wickets each.
The bizhub Highveld Lions captain, Stephen Cook, had won the toss on Thursday, and asked the hosts to bat first. The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras had made a quick start, with Andrew Puttick (31) and Alistair Gray (15) racing to 30 without loss after just six overs. But the introduction of De Bruyn altered the momentum, as the veteran seamer claimed both the wickets of Puttick and Gray, to leave the home side on 75 for two at lunch on day one.
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras then lost six wickets in the second session, with De Bruyn claiming another two wickets, that of the home team's captain, Justin Ontong (4), and Stiaan van Zyl for 44. Cliffe Deacon accounted for Richard Levi (43) and Johann Louw (0) while Adams ran himself out. Imran Tahir grabbed the wicket of Langeveldt just before tea, as the home side limped at 204 for eight.
The home side were bowled out shortly after tea as De Bruyn ended with 5-39, and match figures of 8-55. Tahir and Deacon both ended with two wickets apiece, as O'Reilly and Hardus Viljoen looked disappointing.
The visitors started their first innings off well, and ended day one on 78 for one, with only De Kock being dismissed for 26 by Langeveldt. Lizaad Williams led a fight back for the home team on the second morning by claiming three wickets to reduce the bizhub Highveld Lions to 131 for six at lunch on day two.
But Cliffe Deacon (71) and Thami Tsolekile (58) shared a 7th-wicket partnership of 110 runs to swing the match back into the visitors favour. Deacon had been given two lives during his knock, as he was dropped twice, first by Levi at mid-wicket and then by Puttick in the slips, chances that proved costly.
The visitors went into tea on 247 for eight, but Deacon and Imran Tahir (11) gave the men from Johannesburg a valuable 46 run lead, as they were bowled out 20 minutes after tea for 270.
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras then imploded, as the top six batsmen offered little resistance. Gray (5) was dismissed by Deacon in the 4th over, while Puttick (6) followed the very next over to Viljoen, both caught behind. Viljoen then picked up his second wicket, bowling Ontong for 11. Levi (12) and Van Zyl (10) both played rash shots while Vilas felt a little unlucky at being given out caught behind, first ball.
Louw and Adams guided the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras to the close with an undefeated 31-run 7th-wicket partnership, to close on 81 for six.
The home side claimed 6.48 bonus points, to leave them on 86.06 points while the visitors took home 17.40 points, to lift them to 71.12 points, just 3.26 points behind the second placed Chevrolet Warriors.
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.