Cape Town – The Cape Cobras got their T20 campaignback on track as they beat the Highveld Lions by 6 runs at Boland Park on Friday evening.
It put an end to their losing runs of three successive matches and got them off the foot of the log with 4 points from 4 matches.
It was a match in which they held their nerve at the death better than their opponents who looked as though they held the upper hand on several occasions during their runs chase.
They were given a good start by Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen who put on 52 for the first wicket in good time but thereafter they allowed the required run rate to gradually soar to double figures.
They then got it back to a reasonable target, needing just 15 runs off the last 11 balls before they imploded at the death.
JP Duminy led the Cobras from the front with his half-century and some economical overs and there was some key bowling from George Linde and Rory Kleinveldt who took 2 wickets each.
The Cobras left two of their current Proteas, Dane Paterson and Wayne Parnell, out of their side.
Kagiso Rabada backed up the decision of his captain, Aaron Phangiso, to bowl first with a superb performance that saw him claim 2/20 in 4 overs as the Cobras were restricted to a total of 145/7. It was an effort that must have sent a chilling message not just to his domestic opponents but to those whom he will face on the international circuit later this season.
In the process Rabada took his 50th wicket in this format in only 40 matches.
His rhythm, pace and control were all outstanding as he produced Yorkers, short balls and back of a length deliveries seemingly at will and at an impressive pace as well.
He was well supported by Hardus Viljoen and Wiaan Mulder who also took two wickets each while the two spinners employed, Phangiso and Bjorn Fortuin were also tidy.
On a slow pitch with a bumpy outfield that has been affected by the Western Cape drought the Cobras total was probably worth more than it looked. They were restricted to only 33/2 in the power play overs but then Hashim Amla (42 off 35 balls, 2 fours) and JP Duminy (54 off 49 balls, 3 fours and a six) revived their fortunes with a stand of 87 in 13 overs.