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.”