The Cobras produced a complete performance to beat the Knights by seven wickets in Kimberley on Saturday night.
Andrew Puttick strode to the crease with fellow opener Richard Levi to begin the Cobras pursuit of 163. After two early boundaries, Levi was bowled by Quinton Friend. Omphile Ramela and Stiaan van Zyl also fell cheaply to leave the Cobras on 62-3 in the 13th over.
Puttick, however, always looked in control and once he found an able partner in Justin Ontong, he proceeded to take the team home. The left-handed opening batsman finished on 89 not out off 97 deliveries, while his captain was undefeated on 47 off 68 balls.
It was a dominant performance by the Cape franchise, as it took them just 33.4 overs to complete their seven wicket victory. The Knights, on the other hand, will have to be a lot better if they are going to bounce back from a terrible start to their campaign.
Earlier, Ontong’s decision to insert the Knights was vindicated immediately. Rory Kleinveldt removed Reeza Hendricks and Gerhardt Abrahams in the first over without conceding a run. Shaheen Khan struck from the other end to leave the Knights in disarray at 7-3 in the second over.
Rilee Rossouw went about rebuilding the innings with the support of Rudi Second. They contributed 57 and 26, respectively. Together they took the score to 93 before both of them and Werner Coetsee all fell without adding another run. At 93-6 in the 21st over, the writing was on the wall for the hosts.
Obus Pienaar and Malusi Siboto then fought hard to post a respectable score. They added 53 runs before another collapse saw the Knights dismissed for 162 after 41 overs. Kleinveldt and Khan were the chief destroyers, returning figures of 3-28 in seven overs and 4-38 in nine overs, respectively.