The WSB Cape Cobras secured a narrow one-wicket victory over the Multiply Titans in the Momentum One Day Cup to maintain their share at the top of the table at PPC Newlands in Cape Town on Friday evening.
The Cobras seemed to have lost their way when Tabraiz Shamsi (10-0-66-3) reduced the home side to 182 for seven when he dismissed JP Duminy (22), Wayne Parnell (7) and Carlos Koyana (1) with the Cobras still 89 runs shy of their target of 271 after Albie Morkel had won the toss and elected to bat first.
With the Cobras seeming down and out, Rory Kleinveldt and George Linde posted what turned out to be a match-winning partnership of 69 runs from only 59 deliveries before Kleinveldt tamely gave his wicket away, being caught by Corbin Bosch in the deep off Malusi Siboto (8-0-53-2) for 45 from 36 balls.
Kleinveldt, who struck seven boundaries and a six, was well supported by George Linde, who ended unbeaten on 39 from 38 balls with just two boundaries and hit the winning runs when he sprinted back for a second run off the third ball of the final over to clinch the match, despite some controversy.
Linde drove the ball from Bosch (8.3-0-52-0) down towards long-on where Farhaan Behardien picked up and shot the ball in towards the wicketkeeper. The throw was quick and accurate, striking the stumps directly with Linde stretching for the line and with the entire Titans team appealing, the umpire Brian Jele shook his head and said not out, sending the Newlands faithful into ecstasy.
Pieter Malan and Simon Khomari laid the foundation for the chase with a second-wicket stand worth exactly 100 from 114 deliveries after Shaun von Berg (10-0-31-2) had trapped Richard Levi in front for just seven. Malan, scoring his fourth half century of the campaign, faced 86 balls for his 62 which included four boundaries and a six.
Khomari, in for Aviwe Mgijima, struck eight boundaries from 80 deliveries before being bowled by Heinrich Klaasen (2-0-13-1) for 60. Khomari was joined by Duminy and the pair continued the chase, adding 34 runs for the third wicket off 42 deliveries before Shamsi entered the fray and caused some chaos.
Earlier, the Titans posted 270 for seven with half centuries from Rivaldo Moonsamy (79), Klaasen (86) and Behardien (62) after Kleinveldt (10-0-42-1) and Dane Paterson (10-1-51-3) had reduced the visitors to two for two with Andrea Agathangelou and Victor Mahlangu back in the pavilion for a single each.
Klaasen and Moonsamy batted superbly, adding 156 runs for the third wicket from 180 deliveries before Klaasen was caught at mid-wicket by Parnell from the bowling of Paterson. Despite the loss of Klaasen, Moonsamy and Behardien carried the torch further, adding 44 runs for the fourth wicket from 49 deliveries while Behardien and Albie Morkel (16) added a quick-fire 50 for the fifth wicket.
But then the Titans fell away as Behardien was caught off the bowling of Mthiwekhaya Nabe (10-0-68-1) and Morkel offered Parnell (10-1-40-1) his only wicket.
The Cobras now remain join-top on the log with 18 points from six matches with the Hollywoodbets Dolphins leap-frogging them into first after their bonus-point victory over the VKB Knights in Durban. The Titans drop two places to third and will now face the Warriors in East London on Sunday.
The Cobras’ next match is against the Knights here at Newlands next Wednesday.