Cobras close in on Sunfoil title

Justin Ontong (File)
Justin Ontong (File)
Johannesburg - The Cape Cobras have all but wrapped up the Sunfoil Series title as Justin Ontong’s century gave them a solid total on the first day of their clash with the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers on Thursday.

Ontong’s third century of the campaign helped the Cobras to 322 for seven, which gave them four points from the opening day alone. Having started the final round of four-day fixtures with a lead of 19 points over the Knights, the Cobras have effectively sealed a second straight title.

Captain Ontong’s knock was vital after the Cobras slumped to 62 for three having won the toss and elected to bat first.

He went on to score 119 to take his season tally to 927 runs - just six shy of teammate Stiaan van Zyl - and by the time he departed the visitors had 285 on the board.

The rest of the middle order followed Ontong’s example, with Yaseen Vallie scoring 51 in a 128-run stand for the fourth wicket with Ontong, and Dane Vilas finishing the day unbeaten on 70 from 104 deliveries.

Hardus Viljoen had Ontong caught behind off the last ball of the 80th over, which meant that the new batsmen were forced to face the second new ball.

Kagiso Rabada duly did some damage, dismissing Justin Kemp and Shaheen Khan cheaply to record figures of 3 for 38 on the day.

Dane Piedt accompanied Vilas to stumps on three not out, and the pair will be looking to add a few more quick runs to stack up the bonus points before the 100-over mark.

Regardless of how they get on, the Cobras can start to put the champagne on ice.

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