Justin Ontong, the Buildnat Cape Cobras captain, could easily have capitulated when the Hollywoodbets Dolphins had the hosts in sixes and sevens on 22 for four in their first innings after the visitors had knocked 478.
Ontong and Keegan Petersen obviously did not read the Dolphins-script. They soaked up the pressure and Ontong played with positive intent from the outset.
Finally, he hammered a career-best 225 to propel the Buildnat Cape Cobras to 447 in their first innings.
Paul Adams, the Buildnat Cape Cobras coach, saluted the performance by the skipper, saying it was one of the best knocks he had ever seen Ontong play. He faced 332 balls and struck 24 boundaries.
He dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground as he and Petersen featured in a 202-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
It was vintage Ontong, who is eye-candy to supporters when he is on song.“What I liked, is the character that the team showed. Even while they were batting, they never got beyond 3.5 runs per over.
“We created half chances which we did not always take. Morné van Wyk was dropped by Jason Smith at third slip very early in his innings off Dane Paterson.
“Some decisions also did not go our way, but it was the way in which the team rallied that impressed me.
“Dane Piedt’s batting has also been great all year,” Adams said.
“Our strategies were very solution-based which was gratifying to see,” Adams said.
Ontong was side-lined by a hand injury during the first few games, but upon his return, he has played with positive intent and has timed the ball sweetly, Adams said.
The Cape Cobras coach said the belligerent opening batsman Richard Levi sustained an ankle injury when he was struck by a Yorker during the three-day match between Western Province and their neighbours. Levi hammered 144.
He will be assessed on Monday and then a decision will be taken whether he will participate in an inter-squad practice game on Tuesday at PPC Newlands.