Roar­ing Lions put an em­phatic end to the Co­bras’ un­beaten run


THE Cape Co­bras run­away train came to a grind­ing halt at Boland Park yes­ter­day morn­ing with Craig Alexan­der driv­ing the Highveld Lions to a much-de­served vic­tory.

Alexan­der claimed three of the five re­main­ing wick­ets to wrap up a su­perb 186-run win for the vis­i­tors, which trimmed the pre­vi­ously un­beaten Co­bras’ lead at the top of the ta­ble from 33 points to 12.

The for­mer Capeto­nian quick ended with 3/52 as the hosts fell from an overnight 186/5 to 246 all out on the last morn­ing, with lef­t­arm spin­ners Bjorn For­tuin (3/37) and Aaron Phangiso (3/77) claim­ing six wick­ets in the fourth in­nings.

The only con­so­la­tion for the Co­bras was Pi­eter Malan (101 off 235 balls) reg­is­ter­ing his third cen­tury of the sea­son, while Ja­son Smith struck 74 (132 balls, eight fours).

“We set our­selves the goal of spend­ing the whole day in the field be­cause Pi­eter and Smith seemed to set out their stall, but for­tu­nately we made the early break­through,” Lions cap­tain Temba Bavuma told In­de­pen­dent Me­dia.

“It has been a strong col­lec­tive ef­fort. The bat­ters got us go­ing in tough con­di­tions on Day 1 and then the bowl­ing at­tack won the game for us.

“We had to win to keep our own am­bi­tions in the com­pe­ti­tion alive for the Co­bras are run­ning away with it. We had to try to do some­thing to stop them in their tracks.”

The 4-Day Series takes a back seat now for the Mzansi Su­per League that gets un­der­way next Fri­day, but for play­ers like Malan, the pain of de­feat will linger on for a while.

“It is not the game we wanted to play. We let our­selves down in the first in­nings, and to a de­gree in the sec­ond in­nings, too. It is dis­ap­point­ing,” Malan said. “We tried not to look to far ahead, take it ball-by-ball. We gave our­selves a 10 per­cent chance of pulling it off, but un­for­tu­nately it didn’t hap­pen.”

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