Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla gives the Lions selection headache
Cape Cobras 144/6 (Jonker 44. Sipamla 2/27, Fortuin 2/29)
Lions 147/3 (Hendricks 75)
Lions won by 7 wickets
JOHANNESBURG - Wiaan Mulder and Lutho Sipamla gave the Lions’ selectors some thinking to do ahead of Saturday’s play-off match in the BetwayT20 Challenge in Durban as both starred in a comfortable win against the Cape Cobras on Friday.
The Lions, who’d already qualified for the playoffs, made four changes to the starting team from the side that lost to the Dolphins, with Sipamla and Mulder, who’d yet to play, given a run against the Cobras, who needed to win with a bonus point to have a chance at a play-off spot.
The Cape side, who have been inconsistent throughout the competition, and generally played poorly all season, put themselves under pressure immediately, with their skipper Tony de Zorzi dismissed first ball, top edging an awful hoick off Bjorn Fortuin giving Aaron Phangiso an easy catch in the covers.
Sipamla won a lovely little battle against Kyle Verreynne, who had played a delicious scoop for four earlier in the over, but was dismissed next ball, when the fast bowler dug a short ball that followed the batsmen into the surface, with Verreynne clipping to short third man.
Fortuin picked up George Linde for 22, but the Cobras’ innings was rescued by a 59-run fifth wicket partnership between Christiaan Jonker and Corbin Borsch.
Both ran well between the wickets, and found the boundary with some powerfully struck blows. However they couldn’t get the Cobras to a total which would place the Lions under any pressure, nor, give themselves the opportunity of a bonus point either.
Any-hoo....Titans vs Dolphins coming up. Titans win, and they're in the playoffs, lose and they can take a flight back to Tshwane and the Warriors will face the Lions on Saturday. #T20Challenge— stuart hess (@shockerhess) February 26, 2021
The Lions facing a required run rate of just over seven an over, lost the out of form Ryan Rickleton early, but a second wicket partnership of 84 between Reeza Hendricks and Temba Bavuma ensured all hopes were extinguished for the Cobras.
Importantly for the Lions, they batted with more intent than had been the case in their previous two encounters, and while they won easily enough, it is still an area in which there is plenty of room for improvement.
In fact it was Mulder who really asserted himself at the end, scoring 25 off 10 balls, with a four and two sixes, which along with a wicket earlier, saw him pressing his claims for inclusion in the starting team for the weekend.