Smuts bats Warriors to memorable, bonus-point win

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 12: JJ Smuts of the Warriors celebrate scoring a century during the Momentum One Day Cup match between BuildNat Cape Cobras and Warriors at PPC Newlands on March 12, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 12: JJ Smuts of the Warriors celebrate scoring a century during the Momentum One Day Cup match between BuildNat Cape Cobras and Warriors at PPC Newlands on March 12, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Jon-Jon Smuts and Richard Levi treated PPC Newlands to magnificent centuries as the Warriors emerged victorious by 90 runs from their Momentum One-Day Cup clash against the BuildNat Cape Cobras in Cape Town on Sunday.

Visiting captain Smuts, first struck a career-best unbeaten 173 (164 balls, 9 fours, 8 sixes) as the men from the Eastern Cape amassed 305/6 after they lost the toss and were put in to bat.

Fellow opener Levi then hit 106 (70 balls, 14 fours, 3 sixes) in a two-part innings but it was a stand-alone effort as the home side succumbed for 215 in 37.3 overs.

It was a fantastic effort by both men – Smuts’ knock first up became the third highest individual score in domestic one-day cricket history behind Reeza Hendricks (181) and Morne van Wyk (175*) and highest for his franchise. It also beat his previous best of 132 scored against the Dolphins in 2011/12.

Gihahn Cloete proved useful with 70 (75 balls, 11 fours) and shared in a 119-run opening stand that was broken by on-loan spinner Eddie Leie, who took an impressive 4/56.

Chasing 306 to win, the Cobras made a flying start as they reached 124/2 in only 17 overs thanks to the bludgeoning hitting of Levi, but he then retired hurt on 94 and things went downhill from there.

Omphile Ramela’s 20 was the next highest score as Colin Ingram picked up 3/56, with good support coming via Aya Gqamane (2/22).

Levi, who holds the record for the fastest century in 53 balls, returned to bat at 167/6, but despite completing his ton in 65 deliveries, he was eventually run out with the Warriors sealing a bonus-point win.