Lions beat Cobras to stay on top of Ram Slam log

2014-11-15 00:00

THE Highveld Lions, spearheaded by Chris Morris and Hardus Viljoen, scuppered the Cape Cobras’ chance of leaping to the top of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge log, losing to their hosts by 47 runs at the Bidvest Wanderers yesterday.

The hosts’ bonus point victory was due to a parsimonious Lions attack. Morris (4-3-2-2) produced the most economical spell in the world T20 cricket and Viljoen read 4-1-12-2. The rest of the Lions attack all weighed in to see the home side reach the winning post.

The Lions who lost the toss and were asked to bat, scored 141 for seven.

Prior to the start of the match, the news filtered through that the series top-scorer, Chris Gayle (214 runs), would not take his place in the line-up, due to a lower back strain. But Gayle’s misfortune enabled Rassie Van der Dussen to take his place at the top of the order, a chance he seized with both hands scoring a 37-ball half century. The opener went on to top-score with 52, but his innings was not without chance, dropped by Mthokozisi Shezi on four.

But just as Van der Dussen was looking to climb into the Cobras attack, Shezi atoned for his previous mishap, bowling the opener neck-and-crop.

Neil McKenzie — who came to the wicket after Alviro Petersen was dismissed, stumped by Dane Vilas offspinner George Linde — was also let off the hook by Shezi, dropping the Lions captain on three. The drop proved to be costly as Van der Dussen and McKenzie went on to compile a second-wicket partnership of 52.

The hosts then imploded, losing five wickets for 39 runs: Van der Dussen, McKenzie, Temba Bavuma, Jean Symes and Morris.

Shezi, Kieron Pollard and Feriso Adams all finished with two wickets apiece.

The Cobras’ run chase got off to an inauspicious start, losing their first four wickets for a mere 44 runs: Richard Levi (20), Andrew Puttick (4), Dane Vilas (1) and Justin Ontong (2).

The only paste that held the side together was Omphile Ramela. But there was only so much one man can do.

Trying to force the pace he went for one big hit too many, holing out to Petersen on the long-on boundary for a well struck 34-ball 30.

The Lions victory keeps them on top of the log.

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