The WSB Cape Cobras went top of the CSA T20 Challenge log after securing an eight-run victory over the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at PPC Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday afternoon.
Khaya Zondo had won the toss and asked the home side to bat first under cloudy skies with the Cobras posting a tricky 152 for six with Hashim Amla top-scoring with 32 but despite some fireworks from veteran allrounder Robbie Frylinck, the visitors fell eight runs short of their mark thanks to some miserly bowling from the Cobras captain, Rory Kleinveldt.
Frylinck’s pyrotechnics overshadowed his captain’s eighth T20 fifty with the burly right-hander smashing three sixes and three fours on his way to an unbeaten 47 from just 23 deliveries while Zondo, coming to the crease with his side in deep trouble at three for two, struck one four and two sixes to end unbeaten on 53 from 49 balls with the pair sharing in an unbroken stand of 81 from 42 deliveries for the sixth wicket.
But the damage had been done upfront with Kleinveldt, who ended with figures of 4-1-9-2, grabbed the early wickets of Sarel Erwee (2) and Morne van Wyk (1) while his opening partner and Proteas veteran Vernon Philander dismissing Cody Chetty for just seven to leave the visitors on 16 for three at the end of the power play.
Offbreak bowler Nkululeko Serame (4-0-28-2) accounted for Marques Ackerman (16) and Sibonelo Makhanya (9) to leave the men from Durban with an almost impossible task. But Frylinck almost took his team to the brink by dispatching Dane Paterson (3-0-40-0) for 24 runs in the penultimate over, leaving the difficult task of having to score 24 from the final over, bowled by Philander.
Zondo took a single off the first ball before Frylinck launched the right-arm fast bowler down the ground for a massive six. But Philander restricted the allrounder to just three runs off the next two balls before Zondo struck the penultimate ball for four to bring up his fifty off 48 balls.
Earlier, the Cobras had posted a tricky total with most batsmen getting starts but not being able to kick on. Amla, who has faced a long, lean spell at the crease, finally found some form with a run a ball 32 which included four boundaries while the centurion from Friday evening, Janneman Malan, struck three fours before falling for just 13 from seven balls.
Kyle Verreynne struck three boundaries off 25 balls before being caught on the long-on boundary by Erwee off Keshav Maharaj (4-0-20-1) while Aviwe Mgijima (23) and Philander (12) both fell to Frylinck (4-0-27-2). George Linde kept his side in the hunt for a defendable total with an unbeaten 27 from 19 balls, which included one four and a six while Kleinveldt struck one four in his unbeaten 12 from seven balls.
The victory lifts the Cobras to the top of the CSA T20 Challenge log after four games, taking them to 13 points, two points clear of the bizhub Highveld Lions and four points ahead of the Multiply Titans. The Dolphins drop to fifth on the standings as the Warriors moved one place up thanks to their match against the Lions being washed out.
The Cobras, now brimming with confidence after two consecutive victories, next host bottom of the log VKB Knights at Newlands on Tuesday while the Dolphins host the Warriors on Wednesday.