A career-best 157 by Ryan Rickelton enabled the Imperial Lions to make it two Momentum One-Day Cup wins from two after they earned a comfortable 49-run victory over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Paarl on Friday.
The left-hander smashed three sixes and 12 fours in a 135-ball innings of pure class that helped lift the hosts to a mammoth 320 for seven after they lost the toss and were asked to bat first.
Fast bowler Eldred Hawken then claimed three for 40 in 10 overs as the hosts were restricted to 271 for six – sealing an emphatic win at Eurolux Boland Park.
Rickelton, though, was the star after setting the tone for his side with a magnificent display with the bat.
His second career ton was the catalyst for an initial 125-run opening stand with Dominic Hendricks (50 off 68 balls, 3 fours), before a 63-run partnership followed with Kagiso Rapulana (32).
Then came arguably the most influential stand as Rickelton, who beat his previous best score of 126 for the Lions against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at Potch last year, and Nicky van den Berg (36) thrashed 93 for the third wicket that proved key to their mammoth total.
It was the Lions’ highest total in the history of the fixture.
The Cobras suffered a double set-back in the opening eight overs after losing Pieter Malan (17) and Hanno Kotze (9) cheaply.
Zubayr Hamza (58 off 57 balls, 7 fours) and George Linde (58 off 60 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) did their best to keep with the pace, while Jason Smith (41) and Aviwe Mgijima (33) also tried, but the scoreboard pressure was too big as the Cobras slipped to their first loss of the term.