“We did not make it hard for them to take our wickets. We did not apply ourselves enough with the bat in the first innings,” was Dane Piedt’s post-mortem on where the pendulum swung away from the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in their 186-run loss to the bizhub Highveld Lions in their Four-Day Domestic series clash at Eurolux Boland Park in Paarl which ended disappointingly early on Thursday.

“We had three bad days. I thought it was reasonable to restrict them to 300 for seven on the first day. It was very disappointing,” Piedt said.

The hosts limited the Lions to 337 in the first innings, and it prompted Ashwell Prince, the host’s coach, to say that if in any other game the first-innings response was over 400, it would have left the Lions in some disarray.

WJ Lubbe struck 101. Temba Bavuma scored 51 and Rassie van der Dussen contributed 66. Both those half-centuries could have been tons, which left the door open for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras to eclipse them in the first innings.

Probed about the failure of the top-order in both innings, Prince was philosophical: “There are a lot of young guys (batsmen) who like to play their shots and they are learning. You have got to take the rough with the smooth and learn from making mistakes,” Prince said.

Piedt mentioned that the wickets in the past two games were responsive to good bowling, but the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras gave wickets away and did not counter-attack as was the case in the first games.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras collapsed to 246 all out from a good position of 197 for five on Thursday.

Both Piedt and Prince mentioned the good bowling of the Cape champions: “We have taken 20 wickets in five successive games now and Dane took a five-wicket haul while Pato (Dane Paterson) also captured five wickets in an innings, said, Prince.

“Our bowlers are some of the leaders on the list of bowling averages with Dane Paterson, Tladi Bokako and Piedt amongst the leading wicket-takers,” Prince said.

But Piedt said his 5-99 – the eighteenth five-wicket haul of his career – was hollow because it was not in a winning cause.

Despite the comprehensive loss, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras are still leading the log with 103.86 points, while the Lions are second on 91.72 points.

Twelve World Sports Betting Cape Cobras will now turn their attention to the Mzansi Super League and play for six different franchises. The League starts on Friday 16th November at PPC Newlands.