The Cape Cobras beat the Knights by 33 runs at Newlands to win the Ram Slam T20 Challenge on Friday.
Justin Ontong won the toss and elected to put the runs on the board, after his side fell two runs short in the corresponding fixture in the previous campaign. The hosts didn’t get off to the best start, losing the competitions most prolific batsman, Richard Levi, for just one.
Hashim Amla and Dane Vilas built a solid foundation after the early wicket, scoring a measured 26 and 29, respectively. They did their job, but acceleration was urgently required. Omphile Ramela and Kieron Pollard stood up in this regard.
Ramela scored a valuable 34-ball 54 before being bowled by the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, Shadley van Schalkwyk. The bowler, hailing from the Cape, once again impressed with figures of 1-31 in his four overs.
At the other end, Pollard smashed an unbeaten 43 off just 23 deliveries to take the total to 158-4 at the end of the 20 overs. It’s a competitive total at the coast, especially in a final when pressure can makes batsmen do funny things.
In reply, the Knights seemed to be on track to complete an unbelievable season with some long overdue silverware when Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw were going strong. But Hendricks fell to the part time spin of Ontong for 41 off 35 balls and Rossouw followed him back to the hut soon after for a 23-ball 33.
Rossouw was the first of Dane Paterson’s four wickets. The seamer finished with figures of 4-33 as the rest of the Knights order crumbled in the face of a high quality attack. Pollard completed a brilliant all-round performance when he claimed 3-21 in his four over ration.
In the end, the Knights crawled to 125-9 at the end of their 20 overs to hand the Cape Cobras a 33-run victory. The hosts gained the revenge they desperately wanted after coming so close last season, giving their fans something to shout about. After losing just one match in the competition, it’s fair to say that the best side won.
Report compiled by Gareth Stevens.