THE Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras put themselves in prime position to secure a home final in the Momentum One-Day Cup after they held their nerve to beat the Chevrolet Warriors by one run at Boland Park on Wednesday.
An excellent game between two well-matched sides ebbed and flowed throughout and eventually came down to the final ball, with Andrew Birch requiring three runs from Lizaad Williams’ delivery.
The 19-year-old bowler’s well-disguised slower ball was hit straight to the cover fielder, who ran Birch out attempting a second to ensure a crucial victory for the Cobras that put them four points clear at the top of the table with just one round of fixtures to come.
While young Williams was the star at the end of the show after he was thrown the ball with 14 runs required from the final over, it was one of the Cobras’ senior statesmen who walked away with the man of the match award.
Andrew Puttick had endured an underwhelming season going into the match, but weighed in with a classic opener’s century as the Cobras posted 239 for eight after electing to bat first.
Although Puttick rarely got out of second gear and required a bit of fortune during his 108, which included just 10 fours and took 138 deliveries, the innings kept the Cobras ticking along on a pitch that was dry enough to produce reverse swing.
While several other batsmen made starts, Justin Ontong’s 38 was the next highest score as Rusty Theron exploited the lateral movement to take 3 for 44.
With the Cobras dismissing both Warriors openers inside the first nine overs and picking up wickets at regular intervals, they looked firmly in control until Christiaan Jonker (66) and Simon Harmer (32) combined to put on 80 in 53 balls for the seventh wicket.
That took the game right down to the wire, with 21 required from the final two overs before Charl Langeveldt allowed just seven from the penultimate over.
With Jonker run out attempting a second off the fourth ball of the final over the Warriors lost their key man, and Williams kept his cool to complete a memorable win for the Cobras.