CAPE TOWN – The Cape Cobras survived a middle-order collapse to snatch a thrilling one-wicket victory over the Titans at Newlands in the Momentum One-Day Cup clash on Friday evening.
George Linde (39 not out off 38 balls) and last-man Mthiwekhaya Nabe scampered two runs of the third last ball to edge the home team over the line. The was, however, further drama out in the middle with the Titans contesting the umpire’s decision after Farhaan Behardien had thrown down the stumps at Linde’s end, only for the ball to ricochet off it which allowed the Cobras batsmen to scamper through for the extra run.
Umpire Bongani Jele ruled that Linde had made his ground, which meant the ball was still well and truly alive. It was a frenetic ending to a match that both teams let slip at various times.
The Cobras were well set at 152/2 in pursuit of the Titans’ 270/7 in the 30th over. However, the loss of Simon Khomari to the part-time bowling of Heinrich Klaasen set in the hari-kiri. Khomari (60 off 80 balls, 8x4) had come into the Cobras side due to regular No 3 Aviwe Mgijima having to attend a funeral.
The Cobras collapse was spectacular with the home side losing five wickets for just 30 runs which saw them plummet to 182/7.
However, that brought all-rounders Linde and Rory Kleinveldt to the crease. The pair added 69 runs for the eighth wicket to keep the Newlands faithful on the edge of their seats, but when Kleinveldt was caught on the square-leg boundary for 45 off 36 balls, the pendulum swung again with the Cobras still needing 20 runs off 20 balls with just two wickets remaining.
The action intensified when Cobras No 10 Dane Paterson was dismissed with seven balls still remaining in the innings and four runs required for victory. Nabe, though, hauled out a textbook defensive shot too keep out Malusi Siboto’s (2/53) final ball.
Earlier, the Titans middle-order rescued the visitors from the tricky position of 2/2 after the visitors had elected to bat. The Cobras impressive new-ball combination of Kleinveldt and Paterson made an immediate impact on their return with the wickets of both openers Andrea Agathangelou and Victor Mahlangu.
The defending champions were not, though, deterred by this double setback with Rivaldo Moonsamy (79 off 103 balls, 7x4, 1x6) and Klaasen (86 off 96 balls, 11x4, 1x6) producing a great counter-attacking partnership of 154 for the third wicket.
Even after Klaasen’s demise, the innings did not lose momentum with new batsman Farhaan Behardien (62 off 56 balls, 4x4, 1x6) involved in two solid partnerships with Moonsamy and captain Albie Morkel.
Ultimately, though, it was just a few runs too little for a determined Cobras side that have now defeated the Titans in the last three white-ball encounters between the two teams.