Johannesburg – The One-day Cup final between the Highveld Lions and the Cape Cobras at the Wanderers on Saturday turned out to be a damp squib.
Heavy rain saturated the Bullring and brought an early end to the proceedings. The match was declared “no result” with defending champions the Cobras and the Lions sharing the trophy.
Sent in to bat first, Lions' openers Stephen Cook and Gulam Bodi, treated the visitors' attack – containing Proteas Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Rory Kleinveldt – with scant respect, putting on 67 runs for the first-wicket.
Bodi was the first to be dismissed, skying a Johann Louw delivery to Richard Levi at fine-leg.
Two overs later, Cook chopped a Kleinveldt delivery on to his stumps, but the pair had given the hosts a solid foundation to build on.
Quinton de Kock and Alviro Petersen instigated the recovery with a third-wicket stand of 72.
In an effort to break the partnership, the visiting captain Justin Ontong introduced himself into the attack and claimed the wicket of De Kock.
De Kock's sparkling 41, off 38 balls, contained some wonderfully-timed straight drives and flicks off his legs. His demise came as a surprise, driving Ontong into the air with Robin Peterson diving for the catch at extra-cover.
Philander thought he had claimed the wicket of Neil McKenzie, but the umpires finger stayed down. However, McKenzie was half-way down the track looking to steal a single and was run out, via a direct from hit from Ontong.
Jean Symes failed to move his feet and was bowled neck-and-crop by a snorter of a ball from Steyn.
Steyn then had Zander de Bruyn in all sorts of trouble, with a series of short pitch balls. The worst was a ripper, which sconned De Bruyn, luckily the all-rounder survived.
Kleinveldt castled both Hardus Viljoen and top scorer Petersen.
Petersen's 146-minute spell at the crease realised 56 runs, which included only four boundaries.
Kleinveldt was the destroyer in chief with three for 41.
With the forecast of thunderstorms and the sky looking ominous, the Cobras started off like a house on fire, also putting on 67 for the first-wicket off 10 overs.
However, the introduction of leg spinner Imran Tahir and off-spinner Aaron Phangiso had the desired effect.
Tahir claimed the wickets of openers Andrew Puttick 24, off 31
balls, and Richard Levi, 36 off 25 deliveries, leaving the Cobras deep in the mire on 68 for two.
But once again the heavens opened, as it did the previous night, signalling the end for both sides. – Sapa