THE Nashua Cape Cobras edged ahead in the race for a RAM SLAM T20 home final as an all-round performance saw them thump the bizhub Highveld Lions by 77 runs at Newlands on Sunday.

After Omphile Ramela (46) and Dane Vilas (51) had propelled the hosts to 154 for seven, the younger members of the Cobras attack took the key wickets as the Lions were shot out for just 77 in 15.3 overs.

As a result, the Cobras earned a bonus point and leapfrogged the Lions to take a two-point lead at the top of the table with three games to play.

The importance of securing a home final – or even a home playoff – is clear given that none of the current top three have lost a game on their own patch in this competition.

The Cobras’ knowledge of their own conditions was apparent in the innings of Richard Levi, who held himself back and scored his 25 at less than a run a ball on a surface where the ball did not come on.

Levi’s knock laid the foundation on which Ramela and Vilas built a 54-run partnership for the third wicket in just 35 deliveries, with Vilas registering a 27-ball fifty.

In response the Lions never got going, with Dane Paterson claiming the prized wicket of Chris Gayle in the second over, before picking up two wickets later on to finish with the outstanding figures of 3 for 9 in 2.3 overs.

When Neil McKenzie (31) and Temba Bavuma (20) threatened to get a partnership going in the second quarter of the chase, Ferisco Adams (2 for 14) and George Linde snuffed it out and then ran through the middle order.

The Cobras needed to restrict the Lions to 123 or less to grab the bonus point, which they easily did as the Lions were dismissed for their lowest ever T20 total.

Linde finished with 3 for 21 from four overs to earn the Ram Deliverer of the Day, while Vilas was the Ram Slammer.


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