Jason Smith finished with career-best figures as the BuildNat Cape Cobras sealed what turned out to be a comfortable 57-run Momentum One-Day Cup win over the Warriors at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday.
The rising all-round star claimed 4/38 in 7.2 overs as the visitors bowled their hosts out for 262 in 44.2 overs – Yaseen Vallie ending unbeaten on 93 (96 balls, 8 fours). That was in pursuit of a victory target of 320, which was set up by an opening stand of 118.
Richard Levi powered his way to 73 (55 balls, 11 fours, 1 six), while Omphile Ramela occupied the crease at the other end with a more sedate 58 (96 balls, 3 fours).
There were several other handy contributions from the likes of Stiaan van Zyl (44) and Dane Vilas (46). The Warriors, who let themselves down with poor fielding, did fight back in the middle part of the Cobras innings, before Smith himself plundered 29 and Aviwe Mgijima made 21 giving their side a powerful finish.
Ayabulela Gqamane was the pick of the bowlers with 2/50, while Sisanda Magala collected 2/63.
The home side were always on top of the run rate during their chase thanks to Vallie, who was left stranded seven runs shy of a century, but their problem was wickets being lost all too easily, and regularly. They were three down in the first 10 overs as Smith accounted for key men Colin Ingram (16) and Colin Ackermann (2) within the space of four balls.
Lesiba Ngoepe (24) helped Vallie put on 58 for the fourth wicket, while Andrew Birch (39) added an innings high 62 for the seventh wicket with the home sides’ top-scorer, but Vallie needed more support, which he did not receive as the men from the Eastern Cape slipped to a second, successive loss to start the competition.