Mnyaka bowls wonder final over to snatch 3-run victory
An extraordinary final over by teenager Akhona Mnyaka helped the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras reignite their Momentum One-Day Cup challenge with a thrilling three-run win over the bizhub Highveld Lions in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The left-arm paceman was given the responsibility of bowling the last six balls with only seven to defend.
And the 19-year-old, who had conceded 18 in his previous over, responded by claiming three wickets, including that of Dwaine Pretorius for 99 (105 balls, 3 fours, 5 sixes), and only conceded three runs to seal an astonishing victory at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium.
It ended an exciting game between two sides chasing a result to try and keep alive their play-off prospects.
Apart from the Pretorius near-hundred, two others did manage three figures, while JP Duminy started to get his engine going again with a well-played 62 (64 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes).
The Lions won the toss and opted to bowl at the start, but Pieter Malan’s 10th List A century held the Cobras’ inning together. The right-hander put on 115 for the third wicket with injury returnee Duminy, before eventually falling for 102 off 127 balls (8 fours) with just under eight overs remaining to the end of the innings.
He was part of a collapse that saw the visitors slump from 235 for three to their eventual score of 281 for nine as Pretorius and Bjorn Fortuin each picked up two for 46.
The match then looked over as a contest just 15.4 overs into the Lions’ innings as two wickets apiece by Rory Kleinveldt (2/43) and Dane Paterson (2/50) left the home side tottering on 73 for four.
But a thrilling 139-run fifth wicket partnership completely changed the outlook as the Lions got to 212 for four by the 42nd over. They were driven by Dominic Hendricks’ 107 off 118 balls (12 fours), his third career century and his second in successive innings, and World Cup hopeful Pretorius.
Even after the former departed, the latter kept going and brought his side to the final over looking like the favourites at 275 for six.
But Mnyaka had other ideas and helped the Cobras snatch a victory that propelled them to fourth on the standings.