The Cape Cobras came to Chennai about a week ahead of the Champions League T20. And on Saturday at the Chepauk, they showed that their preparations haven’t gone waste, notching up a seven-wicket win over New South Wales with 16 balls to spare.
The team from South Africa did a god job of adjusting to the slow Chepauk track, restricting fancied New South Wales to a paltry 135. Dale Steyn cleverly slowed his pace down after conceding a few runs initially.
The other pacers Charles Langevedlt and Philander also kept bowling slower and slower as the NSW batsmen huffed and puffed on the sticky pitch. The Cobras needed to get off to a decent start, and Herschelle Gibbs (55 off 47 balls) did not disappoint. Gibbs, along with R Levi (43 off 27 balls), attacked the new ball as runs came at a fast clip.
Levi got out going for one over the top, but by then the openers had put on 88 off 57 balls, effectively sealing the game. Gibbs pleased the Saturday crowd by playing some excellent shots on the offside. By the end of it, the NSW bowlers seemed to have run out of ideas.
The win was set up by the South African bowlers after a dangerous-looking Shane Watson and David Warner put up 41 runs in less than five overs for NSW.
Three catches were dropped in the process and it seemed that the duo would run away with the game. But Warner kept taking his chances a little too often and once he was snapped up at deep squre leg, things went awry for NSW.