Parnell leads Cobras to first Series victory
WAYNE Parnell bashed on the door of the national selectors and virtually demanded they pick him to start the final Test against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers by producing a thunderous display of his allround skills to help the Cape Cobras win their first match in this season’s Sunfoil Series.
Parnell will be up against the Knights’ Duanne Olivier in a battle for a starting position in the third Test that starts on Thursday but while Olivier was kicking his heels in Bloemfontein after the Knights’ match against the Titans was called off due to rain, Parnell was taking wickets and scoring runs to inspire the Cobras to a first win under the coaching tutelage of Ashwell Prince.
Parnell finished on 103 not out as the Cobras successfully chased down 237 – finishing 239/4 – to win the match, played at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn, by six wickets.
The home team had dominated from the moment they sent the Lions into bat last Thursday and bowled them out for 126. After facing a 147-run deficit on the first innings, the Lions fought back manfully over the weekend, and ensured they had a target to bowl at in the final innings of the match.
But the Cobras shifted Parnell up to open the innings with Omphile Ramela and as he has done often in the past to the Lions the 27 year old played a stunning hand to decide match’s outcome.
The Lions’ lower order played superbly to stretch their advantage beyond the 200-run mark in what had been a largely dismal showing by them with the bat. Resuming on 247/7, Wiaan Mulder and Bjorn Fortuin added another 26 runs in 11 overs in the first hour before the teenage all-rounder was trapped lbw by Dane Paterson for 25.
At that stage the Lions lead was just 126 runs, but a stand of 79 for the ninth wicket between Fortuin and Hardus Viljoen not only frustrated the Cobras but gave the Lions hope as their lead became something for them to bowl at in the last innings.
Fortuin produced another illustration of his mental fortitude making 72 off 179 balls in an innings that lasted more than four hours.
Viljoen scored 46 off 84 balls that included a six and six fours. For the Cobras, Parnell, Paterson, Dane Piedt and Jason Smith each took two wickets, with Parnell’s second innings efforts ensuring he finished with match figures of 6/98 from 46.3 overs.
Then came his performance with the bat as initially in combination with Ramela the pair blasted the Lions opening bowlers.
Despite losing Ramela for 36 in the 15th over, Parnell, in partnership with Stiaan Van Zyl ensured the Cobras maintained the momentum. The pair shared a stand of 125 for the second wicket, scoring at comfortably more than five runs an over as they rapidly pulled the Cobras towards victory.
A brief collapse with the end in sight – the Cobras lost three wickets including Van Zyl (64) for just 22 runs – made things interesting, but Parnell stayed calm and went to his second first class century with a boundary off Mulder that also sealed the muchneeded victory for the Cobras.
In Durban the clash between the Dolphins and Warriors drifted out to a draw after further delays hampered their clash at Kingsmead yesterday.
With only 49 overs possible on day two and no play at all on Saturday all due to rain, a wet outfield held up proceedings on the final morning.
Lunch was eventually taken early and play reduced to 69 overs for the day, although only 40 of those were possible as the hosts pushed on from 243/2 to 361/4 in that period.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld was eventually dismissed for 154 (204 balls, 14 fours, 5 sixes) and shared in a 116-run third-wicket partnership with Cody Chetty (46) in what was the highlight of the day.
Both men eventually fell to Basheer Walters (2/91) within two overs of each other as Khaya Zondo and Morne van Wyk (both 16 not out) batted out the remainder of play.