Super Cobras in winning mood
Powerful charge leaves Lions on the rack
THE Cape Cobras all but sewed up their third victory in four SuperSport Series games when they had the Lions on the rack at 146 for seven in their second innings here yesterday, still needing 109 runs to make the defending champions bat again.
The Lions were 255 runs behind after the Cobras’ first innings effort of 341, and although they had a decent start the second time around, their batting disappointed again yesterday.
At the close Dale Deeb (33, five fours) and Cliffie Deacon (19, four fours) were at the crease, with only slight hopes of taking the contest into the fourth innings.
When they batted a second time the Lions needed brave, disciplined batting. The batsmen tried, but they were way short on patience, and the Cobras’ mix of tight bowling and sharp catching proved hard to resist.
The initial breakthrough was made by spinner Robin Peterson (2-25), who induced Dominic Hendricks to sweep on 13, with the opening stand up to 37. Hendricks was adjudged lbw, and just five balls later his opening partner Stephen Cook edged Rory Kleinveldt only for JP Duminy to take a good catch low to his left at third slip.
Two wickets had fallen on 37, and the biggest partnership of the innings until the unbroken one of 52 in 45 minutes for the eighth wicket to take play to the close after the extra half-hour was played, was a poor 16 runs.
Jonathan Vandiar (nine) and Neil Mckenzie (six) went within a run of each other to make it 54-4. Vandiar lapped Peterson to legslip, and a low Kleinveldt delivery trapped big hope Mckenzie in front.
The next three men went caught in the slips by Cobras skipper Justin Kemp, the last of them being doughty fighter Temba Bavuma (16 in 76 minutes, three fours).
The tiny No 5 batsman gave it away, though, after his earlier caution, driving expansively at offspinner Duminy and getting the outside edge.
Deacon and Deeb then benefited from the Cobras’ attacking fields as they put in some attacking shots.
It was a team effort from the Cobras bowlers, with Kleinveldt (227) the only other bowler to take more than one wicket.
Earlier Cobras century-maker Justin Ontong had progressed from 100 not out overnight to 146 before becoming the fourth victim of seamer Shane Burger, who broke the back of the Cobras middle-order.
The Cobras had started the day on 196-3.
Ontong’s boundary tally was 21 fours and a six when, shortly after lunch, Burger beat his bat and trapped him in front, ending the 18th first-class century of the man from Paarl.
Burger delivered a disciplined performance to claim 4-74, grabbing his wickets over seven overs either side of the lunch interval.
From the reaction of his first two victims – Duminy (63 in 183 minutes, 10 fours) and Kemp (one) – neither thought much of the lbw decisions they were dished out by umpire Karl Hurter.
Duminy played forward, and Kemp’s impact was on the high side, but Burger had made the vital breakthrough in getting the former batsman, breaking a 142-run fourth wicket stand between him and Ontong which took just over three hours.
Ontong’s demise later meant the Cobras had lost four wickets for 31 runs, and on 281-7 their lead was 195 runs.
Big Rory Kleinveldt then entertained the almost non- existent audience with a run- a- ball 40 which included 10 fours, some driven, some pulled and a couple delicately dabbed off-side.
He and Robin Peterson (15 in 66 minutes, three fours) fashioned an eighth-wicket partnership of 59 at five to the over, with Kleinveldt bashing four boundaries in one Deacon over.
This helped grow the Cobras’ batting bonus point tally grow to 4.82, with the Lions pocketing the full four points for bowling.
On Thursday the Cobras’ bowling points haul was four.
Deacon yesterday contributed 16 extras to the total via 15 no-balls and a wide, but his new-ball partner Pumelela Matshikwe went top of the Supersport Series wickettaking table, his 4-67 taking him to 23 victims in the competition this season.
He finished off the tail, having Kleinveldt caught on the squareleg fence, and Johann Louw caught by wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile. The last three Cobras wickets fell for a single run, in eight balls.
Should the Cobras, as expected, finish off the match today, it would be their third victory inside three days this summer.
Their fourth match, against the Dolphins at Newlands in October, ended in a draw.
TOP SCORER: Justin Ontong goes on the hook in his score of 146 for the Cobras in their Supersport Series match against the Lions at Newlands yesterday.