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Firdose Moonda at the Wanderers
December 15, 2012
Cape Cobras 69 for 2 (Levi 36, Tahir 2-2) v Lions 241 for 7 (Petersen 56, Kleinveldt 3-41) - Match Abandoned
A typhoon-like Johannesburg thunderstorm swept across the Wanderers Stadium five minutes before 3pm on Saturday afternoon to force the domestic one-day cup to be shared. The match was being re-played after it was also rained off on Friday.
The Cobras were defending Champions and the Lions were on the hunt for a first piece of silverware in five seasons, so both teams will be equally aggrieved at sharing spoils. But, they were truly split. The Lions had the upper hand in their first attempt while the Cobras were in front in the second chance.
On Friday, the Lions won the toss, chose to field and reduced Cobras to 64 for 4 when play was stopped. Hardus Viljoen accounted for all four wickets. That counted for nothing because the fixture had to be restarted from scratch on Saturday.
In the repeat, Cobras put Lions in to bat, with both teams having unchanged sides. Defending 242, Viljoen could not repeat the performance for Lions. Richard Levi crunched him through point in his first over to show immediate intent. He was too full to Andrew Puttick and then too short to Levi. Pumi Matshikwe also struggled to adjust his lengths and the Cobras raced to 61 after 8 overs without losing a wicket.
It was only when Imran Tahir came on that the brakes were applied. Tahir had an appeal for lbw against Puttick turned down that looked close. Later in that over, he appealed again and Puttick was given out, although the second appeal appeared to be missing leg. A wicket-maiden was fine redemption for Tahir's performance in the Adelaide Test.
In his next over, Levi drove a poor ball straight to Viljoen at mid-off. Having clawed their way back, the Lions may have been keen to restart but, despite the best efforts of the groundstaff, the outfield was too wet.
Earlier, Stephen Cook and Gulam Bodi took on Dale Steyn with no fear, dispatching him to the leg-side fence as soon as his deliveries strayed on to the pads. Bodi led the boundary charge and looked in imperious form until he tried to hook Johann Louw over fine leg but top-edged instead. Five balls later, Cook chopped a Rory Kleinveldt delivery onto his offstump and the Lions had to rebuild.
New international Quinton de Kock had the experience of Alviro Petersen to guide him. While de Kock batted with freedom, especially on the lofted drive, Petersen showed more caution. The pair put on 68 before de Kock was caught by Robin Peterson in the covers.
Neil McKenzie's arrival in the 27th over should have signalled the Lions' most solid period, but it turned out to be a shaky one. McKenzie had scratched his way to eight when Vernon Philander appealed for an lbw against Petersen, who tried to steal a single. McKenzie had advanced halfway when Petersen sent him back, and an accurate throw from Justin Ontong saw him run-out at the non-striker's end.
From there, the Cobras took control. They restricted the Lions to 80 runs in their last 18 overs with Philander and Kleinveldt squeezing them. Jean Symes tried to accelerate against Steyn. He sliced him to the third man boundary, pulled him through midwicket and gloved him over the keepers' head. Steyn had the last laugh when Symes failed to move his feet to a full one and was bowled.
Zander de Bruyn furthered the stagnation and only Petersen could change things. He brought up his half-century and then swung wildly only to miss. Kleinveldt hit. Aaron Phangison scored the only boundary of the last seven overs, a slog over the Kleinveldt's head, but 241 appeared below par.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
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Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough