Cape Town – Craig Alexander claimed three of the five remaining wickets
to wrap up a superb 186-run win for the Highveld Lions over 4-Day
Domestic Series leaders the Cape Cobras on the final day
of their clash in Paarl on Thursday.
The fast bowler ended with three for 52 as the hosts fell
from their overnight 186 for five to 246 all out on the last morning.
There were also three-fors from Bjorn Fortuin (3/37) and
Aaron Phangiso (3/77) in a polished overall performance from the Lions that
inflicted a first loss of the campaign on the Cobras.
Defeat overshadowed another good display by Pieter Malan,
who recorded his third century of the season by making 101 (235 balls, 13
fours), while Jason Smith struck 74 (132 balls, 8 fours).
Their performances apart, it was a largely disappointing
effort from the home side with the bat – their 138 all out in the first innings
contributing hugely to the loss at Boland Park.
They had started day four with some hope on 186 for five,
chasing 433, and two set batsmen at the crease. Malan quickly went to his 30th
first-class century but was the first wicket to fall not long after, trapped
leg before wicket by Alexander. The same bowler took out Smith, moments after
Phangiso got Dane Piedt (1) as all hope for the Cobras disappeared.
They were eventually bowled out in 81.2 overs, but still go
into the competition break top of the table.