THE Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras kept their Momentum One-Day Cup campaign on track and all but ended the bizhub Highveld Lions’ hopes as they defended a low total on a sporty Bidvest Wanderers wicket on Wednesday night.
The Cobras were bowled out for just 201 in 48.3 overs after being asked to bat first, but rarely looked like losing the match after Rory Kleinveldt trapped Lions skipper Stephen Cook lbw with the first ball of the home side’s chase.
With the Lions bowled out for 153 in pursuit of a Duckworth-Lewis revised target, the Cobras won by 31 runs to take their points tally to 20 from seven matches.
The nature of the pitch was reflected in the manner of dismissals, with eight Cobras batsmen being bowled.
Adding to the Lions’ challenge was a thundershower during the innings break, which reduced their target to 184 from 40 overs and brought sideways movement that was exploited by the Cobras seamers - four Lions batsmen were caught behind the wicket.
Such were the difficulties faced by the batsmen that Stiaan van Zyl’s 52, which took 96 deliveries and contained just four boundaries, was the only half-century of the match.
He shared a handy 84-run partnership for the second wicket with Dane Vilas, but became one of three victims to be bowled by Hardus Viljoen.
Justin Kemp’s 45 ensured the visitors had something to bowl at, and an early blitz reduced the Lions to 27 for three in reply.
Although Thami Tsolekile (36) and Chris Morris (35) attempted a revival later in the chase, Charl Langeveldt made his experience count as he wrapped up the tail to finish with figures of 4 for 22 in 6.5 overs.
The Lions now have just six points with three matches remaining, meaning that even three bonus-point victories would probably not be enough to take them into the play-off.