Ntini and Malan hand Cobras winning start

Thando Ntini marked his franchise debut with four wickets to help the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras launch their 2019/20 Momentum One-Day Cup season with a comfortable 31-run DLS win over the Warriors in Oudtshoorn on Sunday. The teenage paceman, son of one of South Africa’s greatest fast bowlers, Makhaya, was on fire for the hosts bagging, four for 36 in 9.1 overs, before pulling up injured at the Recreation Ground where inclement weather reduced the match to 49 overs per side. However, his efforts went a long way towards quashing any of the hopes of the visitors, who had earlier watched recently-capped Standard Bank Proteas batsman Pieter Malan move past 4000 List A runs with his 12th career century. The opener made 106 off 114 balls (9 fours, 2 sixes) to lead his team to 274 for six after winning the toss and batting. There was also a key half-century from all-rounder Jason Smith (76 off 86 balls, 7 fours), with George Linde crunching three sixes in his unbeaten 31 off 14 balls at the death that sent the target to 275. Ntini then rocked the Warriors’ batting when he was introduced into the attack in the seventh over of the chase. By then the Eastern Cape franchise had raced to 33 for none after six, but the 19-year-old got rid of Matthew Breetzke (23) with his third ball and then sent Gihahn Cloete (16) on his way with his 10th delivery of bowling at this level. His main support came from George Linde (2/58), but all the bowlers got stuck in with a wicket apiece. The Warriors’ only realistic chance of winning was when top-scorer Rudi Second (66 of 65 balls, 5 fours) was in the middle, but he too succumbed to Ntini. The dismissal of the wicketkeeper made it 174 for six, ending any realistic hopes for the chasing side as the Cobras eventually dismissed them for 245 in 47.1 overs.

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