A brilliant all-round performance, by bowlers and batsmen alike, enabled the Cobras to crush the Knights by eight wickets in their Momentum One-Day Cup match at Paarl on Sunday.
First the bowlers: led by Wayne Parnell, they restricted the Knights to a woefully inadequate total of 211-7; then the batsmen: Stiaan van Zyl was the rock, patiently accumulating 90 off 109 balls (11×4), from which Richard Levi (71 off 77) and Omphile Ramela (43 off 41) launched their assault, reaching the target with 12 overs remaining.
With that they claimed a bonus point and sit equal with the Dolphins on nine points, but trailing on net run-rate.
Actually, it could have been over quicker, with the openers going through the first 10 overs at seven an over, Levi reaching 50 off 52 balls. But they slowed up in the middle stages and sauntered to the close, losing Levi and Ramela along the way.
The Knights would have been shaken by this, having arrived after a good win against the Warriors, defending 252.
The Cobras bowling attack, badly exposed against the Lions, came to the fore in determined unity: the pacemen restricted the Knights’ openers to 3.4 an over for the first 10; which in itself was not too damaging. It was their inability to kick on, while losing wickets regularly that did for the Knights.
Perhaps the pedestrian pace got to the visiting batsmen, because they then lost four wickets for 28 runs, with Wayne Parnell striking twice in one over, removing Reeza Hendricks for 30 off 50 balls (5×4) and Diego Rosier (0). Robin Petersen’s offspin was introduced in the 18th over, and in his second over bowled Rudi Second, fresh from match-winning hundred against the Warriors on Friday, for 23 off 52, and trapped Patrick Botha for six.
The Knights were suddenly 75 for four approaching the half-way mark.
Obus Pienaar dug in with determination, but it was only when joined by captain Werner Coetsee, after the fall of Tumelo Bodibe (14) after 31 overs, that he found a partner of equal resolution.
They put on 107 together at a run-rate of 5.8. But it was too little, too late to offer a challenging target. Pienaar ended unbeaten on 73 off 99 balls, with just three fours, while Coetsee harvested 51 off 58, with four fours: a total of just seven fours in that stand. In fact, as a measure of the control shown by the bowers, on 15 fours, or 60 of the 211, came from boundaries.
Parnell dismissed Coetsee and Shadley van Schalkwyk (1) in another double strike in the last over to finish with 4-40 off his 10 while Petersen can be pleased with 2-28 off 10.