Cobras take top spot in Franchise Academy Week

Siyabulela Plaatjies and Jovano Barons shared six wickets between them as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras claimed a big win over the Warriors to seize the lead on the penultimate day of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Franchise Academy 1-Day Week in George on Friday. The pair claimed three for three for 11 and three for 24 respectively as their team won by nine wickets and with a bonus point at the NMMU Field to move top of the table. The Cobras were helped by the Hollywoodbets Dolphins finally breaking their duck by claiming a first win of the competition over previous leaders the VKB Knights, while the big Gauteng derby went the way of the Imperial Lions as they edged the Momentum Multiply Titans by three wickets.However, it was the Cape Town-based team who claimed the biggest victory on day four. They were asked to bowl first after the Warriors won the toss, but the Eastern Cape team were shot out for a poor 102 in 33.2 overs. Nonelela Yikha (34) and Morne Venter (28) were the only two batsmen to walk away with their heads held high as Plaatjies and Barons ran riot, together with support from Sisonke Mazele (2/7). The Cobras needed just 20.5 overs to chase down the target thanks to Brent Johnson’s 54 (52 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) and 47 from Lehan Botha, the two scoring all the runs in an unbeaten 103-run second-wicket partnership. The result lifted the Cobras to the top of the table with 13 points, ahead of the Lions on net run-rate. The Johannesburg-based team were able to overcome an incredible spell of bowling from Sean Gilson to squeeze past their cross-Jukskei rivals. The opening bowler nabbed six for 31 – the best figures of the week – before the Lions chased down a 142-run target with 5.4 overs to spare. That was thanks in the main to Ruan van Tonder (49 not out) and 48 from Cole Abrahams.Earlier, Tumelo Yeki nabbed three for 17 as the Titans were dismissed for 141 after winning the toss and batting at Pacaltsdorp Sports Ground A. Finally, the Knights slipped from first to fourth on the standings after folding for the lowest total of the week.They were bowled out for just 77 against the previously winless Dolphins at Rosemoor Sports Ground. After winning the toss and batting, Matthew Pollard (48) helped the KwaZulu-Natal side post 155 for eight. Lawrence Lawler (29) and Steven Naidoo (24) were the other major contributors with PJ du Plessis claiming three for 13. Yves Kamanzi then claimed the remarkable figures for five for 14 in 10 miserly overs, six of which were maidens, and Ruan Cronje bagged four for 20 to leave the Central Franchise all out in 24.1 overs, sealing a lop-sided 78-run win.The final day of the CSA Franchise Academy 1-Day Week continues on Saturday.

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