A defiant unbeaten half-century from George Linde salvaged a draw for the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras on the final day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Imperial Lions in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The left-hander, better known for his bowling, batted for well over three hours and faced 169 deliveries on his way to 69 (9 fours) that helped the visitors reach the end of the match on 302 for seven.
Prior to his heroics, the in-form Kyle Verreynne and Tony de Zorzi also played important roles for the Cape side with 72 (138 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) and 67 (147 balls, 9 fours) respectively.
Likewise, Nandre Burger had a significant role of his own to play for the Cobras with 38 not out off 111 balls – all of them helping their side into a 93-run lead when rain began to fall deep into day four to ultimately end the contest.
It was a positive finish for Ashwell Prince and his side, seven days after they suffered a two-wicket loss to the Momentum Multiply Titans in a game they largely dominated.
But their luck finally turned at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium where they walked away with a draw despite playing catch-up from day one when they were bundled out for 115.
The hosts and defending champions, themselves wounded after a heavy loss in round one, had replied with 324 and the Cobras started the final day in trouble on 54 for three.
But overnight pair of Verreynne and De Zorzi put on a firm 136-run fourth-wicket stand that took them to within 51 runs of the Lions.
That was when first-innings hero Beuran Hendricks (3/56) struck by trapping De Zorzi leg before wicket and the Cape side fell into further strife when Verreynne fell to the same bowler nine runs later, the wicket completing a personal 10-wicket match success for the Proteas bowler – the second of his career.
And when Isma-eel Gafieldien, (19) and Onke Nyaku (6) were out either side of the 200, the end looked near for the Cobras as they still trailed.
However, Proteas slow left-armer Linde, with his 10th career half century, and Burger then carried them through with a plucky unbroken 98-run eighth-wicket partnership, before the skies opened with rain and prevented any further play.