The unbelievable mental application and positive mind-set were at the heart of the Buildnat Cape Cobras’ sensational 6-wicket win as the hosts chased down 237 in 43.3 overs to romp to a six-wicket Sunfoil Series-win with two overs to spare against the bizhub Highveld Lions on Sunday, said an upbeat Ashwell Prince, coach of the Cobras.
The Cobras finished with 239 for four in 43.3 overs of magnificent, adventurous ball-striking.
Set a target of 237 in the second innings, the Cobras pummelled the visitors thanks to a 74-run opening partnership between Omphile Ramela and the centurion Wayne Parnell, who finished with 103 off 131 balls, and a 125-run stand for the second wicket with Stiaan van Zyl.
“I thought Wayne was unbelievable. He scored his runs all around the wicket. His straight hitting was superb and he was great against the spinners. When I came to him and asked him if he was prepared to do it, he responded very positively to it,” Prince said.
The coach was particularly proud of the way the Cobras showed their defiance.
“You must remember that the Cobras toiled for 164 overs in the sun in the Lions’ second innings on a wicket on which the bounce was true. Even when they dropped a few chances after the Lions were nine down, they refused to give up,” he added.
“Stiaan’s knock was unbelievable. He hit the ball a mile and struck it crisply. People label him a four-day player, but you should have seen him today (striking 64 off 65 deliveries),” he added.
“Omphile did a great job for us. Initially, he was the aggressor while Parnell was finding his feet. Omphile scored more than 100 runs in the match, which is every satisfying.”
The match will do much to restore the Cobras’ self-belief after they languished at the bottom of the Sunfoil Series log with three losses from five matches in the first half of the domestic four-day showpiece.
Ironically, the Cobras had the Lions in dire straits in the corresponding match at Boland Park last season, just to allow the visitors to escape because of some sloppy fielding lapses.
The Cobras were not to be denied in 2016/2017, and their win must rate as one of the finest four-day performances of the past two seasons on any domestic ground.
Prince was proud of his bowling attack. “Tshepo (Moreki) bowled a very aggressive spell on Saturday afternoon. He bounced and tried to unsettle the tail-enders. Although it did not yield a result, it was still a great effort,” he added.
The Cobras collected 17.46 points for their gigantic effort, while the Lions had to be content with four points.