CAPE TOWN. – The inspirational batting performance by Wayne Parnell and the Ram Slam T20 Challenge victory which guided the Cape Cobras to the second position on the log, might just unshackle the team to play with more freedom now that a play-off spot in the semi-final is almost secured, said Paul Adams.

The CapeCobras coach described Parnell’s 99 off 57 balls to set up the win against the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday as a superb one.

“We thought early this season about using him to open the innings. He was the perfect guy to replace (the injured) Richard (Levi),” said Adams.

Levi suffered a knock against the head after a freak injury in the field following an accidental wayward throw from the boundary which hit him against the head. Concerned teammates rallied to his side, and a groggy Levi was helped from the field. The preliminary prognosis was that he suffered mild concussion. He flew back to Cape Town at 14:00 on Monday and will undergo a full assessment in Cape Town late on Monday.

He will probably be ruled out of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge match against the Warriors on Wednesday. Parnell is set to possibly retain the position as opener, although no decision has yet been finalized about the squad for the Warriors-clash at St. George Park in Port Elizabeth.

Levi has hammered two half-centuries this season in the T20-showpiece and has looked the part in both the Momentum One Day Cup-series and Ram Slam T20 Challenge-campaign. Parnell replaced him and played arguably one his very finest knocks in any format ever.

If a highlight-reel should be done about the nature of Parnell’s shot-making and his talent, the six deliveries prior to his dismissal would have been perfect. He struck a boundary to backward point off the last delivery of the spinner Bjorn Fortuin’s final over.

In the next over, Parnell hit an inside out shot over extra cover off Hardus Viljoen for a sensational four.

The next delivery travelled over long-on for a six, and the last delivery of the over was driven over extra cover for three.

Aaron Phangiso had conceded 16 runs in his first three overs and the Cobras needed 20 runs off 12 balls to win it.

Parnell clobbered the first two deliveries bowled by the South African left-arm spinner over long-on and wide long-on for sixes that would have made Shahid Afridi’s biggest hits look like Mickey Mouse-offerings.

Adams said Parnell has been the leader of the attack, the go-to-man and the kingpin for the Cape Cobras with the ball this season.

He was generally satisfied with the performance by the Cobras that pushed them to 20 points on the log, two points ahead of the struggling Sunfoil Dolphins and eight ahead of the Lions.

But he cautioned about the fielding. “Our fielding was not up to standard at the back-end. We need to stay in the moment. I know there were distractions but we need to stay focused,” he added.