Cobras, Lions set for Paarl duel


The Cape Cobras reach the halfway stage of their Momentum One-Day Cup campaign on Friday and they will be looking to stay in the hunt for the play-offs with victory over the Highveld Lions at Boland Park in Paarl.

The home side are currently third on the table, but have played a game extra compared to the teams behind them and another slip-up will not be welcome by coach Ashwell Prince.

Their results so far this season have seen them beaten by the Knights and the Titans, but they have managed wins over the Warriors and table-topping Dolphins.

That win over the leading side in their last game saw them chase down 257 with four balls remaining in Pietermaritzburg.

“We kept on losing wickets in the middle, but I always hoped we would be able to bat until the last two overs because if we did that, we had a realistic chance to clinch it,” reflected wicketkeeper Dane Vilas, one of the stars of the win, along with Rory Kleinveldt.

“It is always easier to get over the line when you have a big hitter on the other side of the wicket who can clear the boundary with ease like Rory Kleinveldt.”

The pair shared in an unbeaten 36-run stand from a little over four pressure-cooker overs to win the game.

“Kleinveldt has been an important cricketer for the Cobras the past 10 to 15 years,” Cobras captain Dane Piedt explained. “His batting has come on in leaps and bounds. Dane Vilas was also excellent.”

Now the Cobras are preparing to face the Lions on a track that is expected to heavily aid spin.

“I suspect that due to the fact that it has not rained and it is very hot in Paarl, it might a bit tough to bat on Friday,” Vilas added. “It might be on the slow side and dry.”

The Lions, meanwhile, are facing a crunch weekend. With just one win from three, they are bottom of the log standings and desperately need to get a move on if they want to reach the play-offs.

After playing the Cobras in the Cape, Geoffrey Toyana’s side will host the Knights at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.