Dawson and Willoughby power the Cobras
Dynamic new-ball bowling from Charl Willoughby and Alan Dawson laid the platform for the Nashua Cape Cobras' four-wicket victory against the Eastern Cape Warriors in a low scoring encounter at Newlands on Sunday.
Willoughby equalled the the most economical analysis in the competiton's history with a spell of 4-0-8-1 and Dawson's first two overs cost just eight runs as the Warriors limped to a meagre 46 for 1 at the half way point of their innings before rallying to reach 139 for 8.
But the home side always looked in control once J-P Duminy (39) and Henry Davids (30) had added 69 in double-quick time for the second wicket leaving Rory Kleinveldt to clinch the vixtory in fine style by clubbing the first ball of the final over over the midwicket boundary to reach 140 for 6 with five balls to spare.
Earlier a determined half century from HD Ackerman had at least given the visitors a chance after opener and skipper Zander de Bruyn struggled to break the shackles imposed by Willoughby and Dawson. He finally found the middle of his bat to strike three sixes in reaching 40 from 41 balls before becoming the first of a record three catches in the outfield for Benji Hector while Ackerman required just 37 balls for his 56 which included six fours and a brace of sixes.
The Cobras were forced to use no less than eight bowlers after Vernon Philander was removed from the attack for bowling two high full-tosses before completing his first over but nonetheless remained in control of the innings throughout its duration.
Despite a dozen sixes in the match, the game's most dramatic highlight was provided by Cobras batsman Henry Davids who took a stunning catch at deep midwicket while heading at full pace towards the boundary rope. As he crossed it, he dived into the air while flicking the ball back towards the field of play where a startled Hector was credited with the catch.
Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency