Cape Town - Hardus Viljoen and Chris Morris charged in at Newlands, to help the Lions defend a below par 248/9 in their One-Day Cup clash against the Cape Cobras on Friday evening.
The Lions won by 19 runs to maintain their 100 percent record after three games to entrench their position at the top of the table.
Viljoen and Morris picked up two wickets apiece, with Morris moving to 12 wickets in the competition thus far.
The Cobras’ run chase suffered an early setback when Andrew Puttick followed a ball from Viljoen that slanted across the left-hander.
Puttick feathered a simple catch to Quinton de Kock behind the stumps.
Fellow opener Richard Levi showed glimpses that he could be returning to form with several powerful shots through both the off and leg side.
But just when he created some momentum through two boundaries off Viljoen, the introduction of Ethan O’Reilly resulted in the breakthrough for the visitors.
Levi would have felt a touch aggrieved with his lbw decision, especially with O’Reilly’s in-swinger appearing to have done too much when it hit the right-hander on his pads.
The Cobras’ run chase was a stop-start affair after that, with the Lions bowlers picking up wickets at regular intervals.
Both Stiaan van Zyl and Yaseen Vallie went past 20, but could not build a substantial innings after a promising start.
Cobras skipper Justin Ontong fought hard to keep his team in the game with a battling 37, but he was also trapped lbw by Viljoen.
Earlier, a combination of three run-outs and a disciplined spell of bowling from Justin Kemp kept the Lions in check after they won the toss and elected to bat.
Captain Stephen Cook backed up his decision with an enterprising 65-run opening partnership with Gulam Bodi.
But it was Kemp’s introduction that thwarted the attack, when the former Protea bowled the visiting skipper with the third ball of his opening spell.
The big all-rounder got one to cut back from a good length to go through Cook’s bat and pad, who departed for 26 off 34 balls.
Kemp showed good composure and finished with his 10 overs for just 23 runs, also picking up the wicket of Neil McKenzie, to peg the Lions back.
The visitors only had themselves to blame, through poor running between the wickets.
Bodi, who had looked in good touch during his inning of 45 off 73 balls, was the first of the run-outs when he and young Quinton De Kock found themselves at the same end in the 23rd over.
Just when the Lions were looking to build momentum through a solid partnership between Themba Bavuma and De Bruyn, the run out curse struck again.
On this occasion it was Bavauma who lost out, returning to the dressing room for 39 after he shared a 69-run partnership with De Bruyn.
Morris was the third run-out victim, courtesy of a brilliant Dane Piedt direct hit. - Sapa