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Short and sweet for the Cobras

The Nashua Cape Cobras needed only a brief run-chase as a dismal Zimbabwe batting performance gifted them an eight-wicket victory in their Standard Bank Pro20 match at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe scored just 84 for nine after a top-class bowling performance by the Cobras, and a stand of 60 off just 46 balls for the first wicket between Andrew Puttick and Henry Davids ensured the home side would not have to wait long for victory.

Puttick picked up a handy 41 not out while Davids scored 25. Tyron Henderson finished the job as he slammed 20 not out off just nine balls against a dumbfounded attack.

Left-arm spinner Ray Price at least ensured that Zimbabwe would not suffer just the second 10-wicket defeat in the competition's history. He trapped Davids leg-before and bowled Herschelle Gibbs for a single to come away with superb figures of two for eight in his four overs.

But Zimbabwe's problem was their batting and it was a telling failure at that.

They were dismantled most effectively for just 84 by a furious Cape Cobras bowling performance.

Such ineffectual batting should probably be banned from Standard Bank Pro20 cricket and it was man of the moment Charl Langeveldt who once again got the fur flying early on.

Brendan Taylor met his end, caught behind for a duck, at the end of Langeveldt's first over and his fellow opener, Hamilton Masakadza, was trapped so palpably in front by the same bowler for a single that the umpire was positively beaming as he gave the decision.

After that parlous start, only three Zimbabwe batsmen got sufficiently into gear to reach double figures - Stuart Matsikenyeri (17), Keith Dabengwa (12) and Elton Chigumbura (18) - as the visitors were rendered numb by some quality bowling.

Only Dabengwa and Chigumbura dared to hit a six and even their innings were brief.

Langeveldt continues to give a master class in the art of swing bowling and he finished with three for 14 in another wonderful display of fast bowling.

Fellow pacemen Henderson (two for 10) and Vernon Philander (two for 25) ensured there would be no escape from ill-fortune for Zimbabwe, while Rory Kleinveldt showed that he hates giving away runs, conceding just 13 in his four overs as the run-rate was always sickly.

Spinner Con de Lange was able to get two wickets as well and the Cobras were chasing just 4.25 runs per over. It doesn't get any easier than that in Pro20 cricket.

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