Vilas, SA Engelbrecht, Justin Kemp and Dane Paterson featured in a determined chase to pull off a miraculous win for the Cape Cobras, but the visitors lost a pulsating clash that went right down to the wire, by 16 runs.
The Warriors set the visitors a winning target of 322. The Cobras managed 305 and just failed, despite a brave-hearted approach and a never-say-die spirit.
The Summer Champions, whose ranks were depleted through call-ups to the South African A-team as well as injury to Robin Peterson, performed admirably with an inexperienced line-up.
Engelbrecht and Vilas added 159 runs for the fifth wicket. A feature of their partnership was the way in which they rotated the strike, as they completed their 150-run stand in 139 minutes off only 212 balls.
Vilas struck 84 off 110 balls, with ten fours and a six. Engelbrecht joined in the run-carnival, muscling 72 off 127 balls with six fours, before he was removed by Andrew Birch.
“I said to Sybrand that if we could just get in and feature in a big partnership, we could win it. Unfortunately, the two of us got out in subsequent overs,” he added.
“I thought Justin and Dane were brilliant in the way they stuck to their game-plans and got us close,” Vilas added.
Paterson and Kemp shared in a 68-run partnership for the tenth wicket. Paterson’s assault saw him hit 42 off 36 balls with six fours and two sixes before he succumbed to Jon-Jon Smuts.
“One of the positives was they commitment we showed in our second innings,” said Vilas.
“We went to sleep a bit in the final hour on Saturday. “We were a bit soft in the bowling department, as our inexperienced guys were not used to somebody coming hard at us like Birchie (Birch) did,” added Vilas.
The Warriors were able to fight back from 176 for six to 317, thanks to an 83-ball 88 by Birch.
“I do think we have had a very good season so far, but we are not out of the Sunfoil Series campaign by any stretch of the imagination. We will have our full-strength team for the four-day competition.
“We are also leading the Momentum One Day Cup table,” said a determined Vilas.