Cape Town -
Cape Cobras young guns Richard Levi, Stiaan van Zyl and Yaseen Vallie all struck classy half-centuries to set up a 37-run victory over the Warriors in a 1-Day Cup clash at Newlands on Friday.
Levi played an uncharacteristically patient innings, requiring 94 balls for his 83 runs. He started like a house on fire, smashing Makhaya Ntini for three boundaries in the first over of the match, but settled down to lay a solid platform for the rest of the Cobras batsmen. The Cobras made 283/5 in their allotted 50 overs.
Van Zyl also opted for a cautious approach before accelerating later during his 111-ball innings. The classy left-hander made 86, falling 14 runs short of a century.
Vallie made 58 to register his first fifty in limited-overs cricket at franchise level.
But it was partnerships that really proved the difference for the home side. Levi and Van Zyl added 99 runs for the second wicket after Andrew Puttick (10) fell early.
Former Proteas opening bowler Makhaya Ntini bowled well for the Warriors during this period, showing great stamina by bowling out his 10 overs on the trot for just 38 runs.
But even the loss of Levi, who was fooled by a slower ball from Aya Gqamane and a poor shot from the in-form Dane Vilas shortly afterwards, could not stem the Cobras’ momentum. The arrival of Vallie at the crease only increased the intensity with Van Zyl also starting to find his range and the pace of the wicket by then.
Vallie was also eager to show that he was comfortable at this level by showing great intent from the outset.
He was eventually dismissed when he attempted a pull shot off Andrew Birch during the closing overs, but he had done enough for captain Justin Ontong to provide the finishing touches. Ontong chipped in with a rapid-fire 27 not out.
The Warriors required a solid start if they were to have any chance of claiming only their second victory of the competition. Openers Ashwell Prince and Jon-Jon Smuts provided this with a 93-run stand for the first wicket, but their demise in quick succession put the visitors on the backfoot. Prince made 66 and Smuts 50, but last year’s losing finalists would have needed one of the pair to bat deep into the innings and possibly register a three-figure score. It was the part-time spin of Alistair Gray and Vallie that accounted for Smuts and Prince respectively. Both were trapped lbw.
The challenge became even greater when Cobras veteran Charl Langeveldt (3/47) struck twice in the batting powerplay later on. He removed both Colin Ackerman and captain Davy Jacobs during this period before Lizaad Williams also claimed two scalps at the backend. - Sapa