New South Wales' Shane Watson bats during their CLT20 match against Cape Cobras at Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Good fielding and South Africans go hand in hand but Saturday wasn't quite a day for the Cape Cobras. However, their openers Richard Levi and Herschelle Gibbs got them home with 16 balls remaining and with seven wickets in hand in their opening match of CLT20 against inaugural title holders New South Wales Blues here.
The Cobras chasing 136 began well, adding 88 for the first wicket. Both their batsmen hit some cracking shots before Moises Henriques got NSW the breakthrough with Levi (43) not getting the elevation right to be caught at long on by David Warner. Although the next man Owais Shah departed quickly, Gibbs continued the assault.
Gibbs once again showed why he is always considered one of the best openers in the limited overs format, playing his trademark lofted cover drives on a wicket that played low and slow. The 38-year-old completed his half century but to up the tempo mistimed a slower one from Patrick Cummins and was held at long on for 55.
But JP Duminy along with Justin Ontong completed the chase for the underdogs.
"The pitch, we have been told, has been re-laid and was not the usual Chepauk track. It kept low and slow," said Gibbs, who was declared the man of the match.
Earlier New South Wales Blues managed 135 for 8, having looked to score over 160 at one point.
The Cobras started with Robin Petersen, a move they took after reading the pitch well which became slower as the game progressed but missed routine chances in the field. Vernon Phillander dropped Shane Watson with Cobras going on to drop three more catches.
But after Warner had departed for 20, Watson, who was slowly finding his touch, missed one trying to slog sweep and none of the other Aussie batsmen could maintain the tempo.