Captain Jon-Jon Smuts celebrated the 100th appearance of his formidable List A career with a fine century, as the Warriors completed a comfortable 90-run victory over the Cape Cobras in yesterday’s key Momentum One-Day Cup fixture at Newlands in Cape Town.
Smuts’s 173 not out from 164 deliveries, which included nine fours and eight handsome sixes, carried the visitors to a plentiful final total of 305 for six in the allotted 50 overs.
Registering a career-best score, the highest of this year’s tournament and the third largest in the history of List A cricket in South Africa, the hard-hitting right-hander offered the national selectors a timely reminder of his limitedovers prowess, ahead of June’s Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom.
The 28-year-old reached 100 off a measured 133 deliveries, and became increasingly cavalier en route to 150 off a further 22.
Particularly severe on seamers Rory Kleinveldt and Dane Paterson through the closing throes, he was equally adept earlier at negotiating the wile and guile of spinners Eddie Leie, George Linde and Dane Piedt.
Smuts cherished fruitful support from fellow opening batsman Gihahn Cloete, whose 70 from 75 laid a decent foundation for middle-order duo Colin Ingram and Colin Ackermann to capitalise.
Ingram and Ackermann briskly moved to 20 and 23 respectively, but were unable to convert quick cameos into the longer-term substance enjoyed by Cloete and Smuts.
On loan from the bizhub Highveld Lions, Leie proved the pick of the bowlers.
His telling haul of four for 56 included the important dismissals of Cloete, Ingram and Ackermann.
Paterson, meanwhile, was the worst of the lot. He travelled for an expensive 83 runs across nine wicketless overs.
The Cobras’ reply was spearheaded by centurion Richard Levi, but ultimately lacked enough stamina to hearten a Newlands crowd dotted with disappointed Cape Town Cycle Tour participants, after the world-famous event had been cancelled due to severe wind.
Levi hammered a 70-ball 106, lined with 14 fours and a trio of sixes, but his questionable decision to briefly retire hurt before returning to reach three figures proved detrimental to the collective cause.
His initial and final departure saw the home side collapse from a promising 128 for two to an irreparable 193 for eight and finally 215 all out in 37.3 overs. – SuperSport.com