Put in to bat by Lions captain Stephen Cook, who won the toss and chose to field first, the Cobras showed little application in the championship decider as they were bundled out for just 169 in 42 overs.
Cook and his top-order of Rassie van der Dussen and Alviro Petersen knocked off the 170 required to win in just 33.4 overs as the home side lost their second successive One-Day Cup final at Newlands, having been beaten by the Titans last season.
But the decision to drop Proteas left-hander Van Zyl for Richard Levi, as well as sticking with just five quality batsmen – Levi, Andrew Puttick, Omphile Ramela, captain Justin Ontong and wicket-keeper Dane Vilas – against a strong Lions bowling attack played a major role in Paul Adams and his team going down.
A possible solution to strengthen the batting line-up could’ve been to include both Levi and Van Zyl, and drop one of the front-line bowlers, Dane Paterson or Beuran Hendricks, as the Cobras had more than enough in their armoury to send down 50 overs.
But it was a good toss for Cook to win as he placed the Cobras batting line-up under pressure immediately. Apart from skipper Ontong, who showed his teammates how to bat on a sluggish Newlands pitch by working the ball around for ones and twos in a 77-ball 60 (2x4), none of the other Cobras batsmen got beyond 23.
Levi ran himself out as he tried to pinch a single that wasn’t on, and Puttick sent him back, but he was too late and was run out for 18 by Temba Bavuma.
Omphile Ramela (2) played a Pumelela Matshikwe (3/28 in eight overs) delivery on to his stumps to be out for two, and then Puttick nicked Dwaine Pretorius behind to Lions wicket-keeper Nicky van den Burgh for 21, and the Cobras had lost their first three batsmen for just 43 runs.
Vilas played some attractive shots in his run-a-ball 23, but contrived to get himself out to an innocuous Aaron Phangiso (3/33 in nine overs) delivery as his attempted cut ended in an edge to Van den Burgh.
Ontong got some lower-end resistance from Dane Piedt (22), but it was too late to rescue the situation.
Cook and Van der Dussen (29) played freely in a first-wicket stand of 67 in 15 overs, before the sharp Wayne Parnell (2/36 in eight overs) – who bowled with good pace and swing – got a nick for Dane Vilas to take the catch behind.
But Petersen took charge and attacked the Cobras bowlers for a quick-fire 55 off 56 balls (8x4), while Cook played the ideal anchor role to finish on 77 not out off 94 balls (9x4).
Original source: Lions thrash brittle Cobras