An unbeaten half-century from Dane Vilas helped the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras reach 183 for five in their season-opening RAM SLAM T20 Challenge match against the bizhub Highbeld Lions at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
The right-hander struck an aggressive 63 from 45 deliveries, including two sixes and four boundaries, and received good support from Proteas 20-over specialist Richard Levi (40) and Qaasim Adams (43).
Pick of the bowlers Aaron Phangiso (3-31) briefly put the hosts on top with two wickets in as many deliveries early on, but the visitors recovered impressively thanks to the exploits of Vilas.
And the Lions would have been ruing their decision to ask the Cobras to bat first after winning the toss.
Levi offered them a flying start as he blazed away early on, despite losing opening partner Stiaan van Zyl (nine) courtesy of a fine inswinger from Pakistan import Sohail Tanvir (2-37).
But Vilas joined Levi and the two took their side past 50 in just the sixth over.
New Proteas spinner Phangiso ended Levi’s 25-ball innings leg before wicket as soon as he was introduced in the eight over and also had Cobras’ English recruit Owais Shah out in the same way for a first ball duck.
But captain Justin Ontong (18) added 44 for the fourth wicket, before a 70-run blitz between Vilas and Adams, who struck one six and six fours in his 26-ball knock, blew the Lions away – their stand taking just six overs – and left them needing a stiff 184 for victory.
bizhub Highveld Lions: Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Neil McKenzie, Temba Bavuma, Jean Symes (capt), Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Sohail Tanvir, Hardus Viljoen, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir.
Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras: Richard Levi, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas (wkt), Owais Shah, Justin Ontong (capt), Qaasim Adams, Rory Kleinveldt, Dane Piedt, Johann Louw, Charl Langeveldt, Lizaad Williams.