Eagles demolish Cobras by 88 runs

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The Nashua Cape Cobras' scorecard was a string of single-digit numbers as they were bundled out for just 88 by the Gestetner Diamond Eagles to lose their Pro20 match by 88 runs.

Chasing a challenging Eagles' total of 176 for three, set up by a top-class opening stand of 110 off 76 balls between Adrian McLaren and Morne van Wyk, the Cobras produced one of their most phoney batting performances yet as only Stiaan van Zyl (22) and Andrew Puttick (23) were able to reach double figures.

McLaren's long wait for a Pro20 chance finally bore fruit as he inspired the Eagles innings by belting a marvellous 61 off 42 balls.

McLaren is now the Eagles' opening batsman in the aftermath of Loots Bosman's catastrophic knee injury and he took to the role with unfazed flamboyance, pouncing on anything too straight or in his arc as he peppered the leg-side with four fours and two impressive sixes.

McLaren eventually fell in the 13th over as he flicked left-arm spinner Claude Henderson off his legs but straight to Van Zyl at deep backward square-leg.

Young Dean Elgar was the incoming batsman and he ensured the Eagles maintained their momentum.

Van Wyk marched on to his second successive half-century and had reached 59 off 43 balls, his strong back-foot play bringing him eight fours and a six, when he ignored Elgar's calls for a second run and was run out by Henry Davids from long-off.

Just 10 runs came off the next two overs, bowled by Roger Telemachus and Charl Langeveldt, who had Dillon du Preez (5) caught at deep cover, but Elgar ensured a strong finish for the Eagles as he hit Telemachus for a six and a four in the final over.

Elgar also hit rookie off-spinner Sybrand Engelbrecht for a six and a four off successive balls in the 16th over and posted 46 not out off just 27 balls.

Langeveldt (4-0-29-1) and Henderson (3-0-21-1), so often top of the bowling logs for the Cobras, were once again the pick of the bowlers for the Capetonians.

Engelbrecht, the SA U19 fielding star, bowled tidily in the middle overs, while Telemachus was the most expensive bowler, conceding 48 runs in his four overs.

But the Cobras then made a total hash of their innings.

Derek Brand, playing just his second provincial match in eight years, was dismissed by CJ de Villiers for eight and the Cobras then suffered a mortal blow just an over later when key batsman Davids showed awful judgement to go for a second run to Du Preez at third man and was run out for five.

The Eagles were also far more clinical in the field than the Cobras, with Shadley van Schalkwyk pulling off a fantastic one-handed, leaping catch at deep mid-off to dismiss Richard Levi (1) off De Villiers.

Van Zyl and Justin Ontong (4) were both deceived by Van Schalkwyk slower balls and, once Puttick dragged medium-pacer Ryan Bailey into his stumps, there was no more hope for the Cobras.

De Villiers finished with three for 15 and Van Schalkwyk two for 12, while left-arm spinner Elgar took two wickets in the 14th over.
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