A magical century from Ryan Rickelton led the Imperial Lions to an impressive 49-run victory over the WSB Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Cup at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl on Friday evening.
Rickelton’s career-best ton of 157 came off just 135 deliveries with 12 boundaries and three maximums, beating his previous best of 126 as the Lions posted 320 for seven after Dane Piedt had won the toss and elected to field first.
In reply, the Cobras managed just 271 for six with Eldred Hawken claiming 3-40 in his 10 overs with captain Aaron Phangiso using seven bowlers in an attempt to gain a bonus-point, however the hosts scored 13 runs off the final over, surpassing 257 which denied the Lions a bonus-point.
The Cobras struggled to maintain he required rate with the Lions’ ground fielding excellent, denying the home side easy singles while taking some good catches. But it was Hawken who put the home side under early pressure, claiming the early scalps of Pieter Malan (17) and Hanno Kotze (9), both caught behind by wicketkeeper Nicky van den Bergh.
Zabayr Hamza (58) and Simon Khomari (24) added 74 for the third wicket but at less than a run a ball before Delano Potgieter (5-0-29-1) had Khomari caught by Dominic Hendricks in the covers. Hamza fell a few overs later after facing 57 balls and striking seven boundaries.
George Linde (58) was elevated up the order to try and put some impetus into the chase but the allrounder managed just two boundaries and one six off his 60 deliveries and once he departed, the sparse crowd sensed the chase was over.
Jason Smith (41) managed just one four while Aviwe Mgijima (33 not out) and Piedt (21 not out) did manage to score an unbeaten 50 runs for the seventh wicket off just 36 balls but it was a little too late.
Rickelton’s effort was magnificent for the visitors, following up on the 92 he scored in the opening game against the Multiply Titans at Supersport Park in Centurion a few days ago. Rickelton and Hendricks (50) gave the visitors the perfect start, adding 125 for the first wicket off 147 balls.
And it was that man, Linde (10-0-76-2) that made the breakthrough, having Hendricks caught in the deep by Malan. Despite Kagiso Rapulana (32) and Van den Bergh (36) getting starts, the Lions lost their way at the back-end of the innings, losing four wickets for 39 runs in the final five overs which stunted the total somewhat.
Rapulana was dismissed by Thando Ntini (7-0-52-1) and Van den Bergh was caught in the deep by Hamza off Dane Paterson (10-0-70-1) while Rory Kleinveldt (10-1-42-2) grabbed both his wickets, that of Potgieter (11) and Nono Pongolo (3) in his final over.
The victory leaves the Lions with two wins from two and on nine points while the Cobras must pick themselves up after having one win from two and four points to their name. The Cobras travel to Pietermaritzburg for the next encounter against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins on Sunday while the Lions travel to Port Elizabeth for a match-up against the Warriors on Valentine’s Day.
**as published on www.supersport.com **