Half-centuries from Zubayr Hamza and Kyle Verreynne took the Cobras to a four-wicket win over the Knights at Newlands on the final day of their first 4-Day Franchise Series match.
Knights captain Pite van Biljon and wicketkeeper-batsman Rudi Second took their overnight stand to 59 before Second fell with the score on 272, having scored 23 off 54 balls. Van Biljon went to a well-played half-century before falling for 57 off 99 balls (10 fours) with the score on 314-8.
The Knights ended their second innings on 334 off 102.4 overs, leaving the Cobras 194 for victory. Dane Paterson removed the bulk of the Knights middle order in taking 4-68 (econ 2.95), with Tladi Bokako (2-64) and Dane Piedt (2-93) also getting among the wickets.
The Cobras got off to the worst possible start, losing Janneman Malan in the first over for a duck (caught Second, bowled Duanne Olivier), followed by his brother Pieter (after his terrific century in the first innings) for just eight.
Hamza and David Bedingham got the innings onto an even keel with a 34-run partnership for the third wicket before Ottniel Baartman removed Bedingham for 23 off 22 balls (five fours), Second taking his second catch of the innings behind the stumps.
Hamza and Aviwe Mgijima then added 50 for the fourth wicket and were looking set to take the Cobras closer t0 their target before Tshepo Ntuli trapped Mgijima leg-before for 30 off 49 balls (four fours).
Verreynne joined Hamza, and the pair reduced the target to under 50 runs needed with six wickets to spare, Hamza going to a well played 50 in 162 minutes off 113 balls with four fours. Hamza fell shortly after for 57 (caught Corne Dry off Baartman) having added 60 with Verreynne, who had done the bulk of the scoring by hitting seven fours in a run-a-ball 46 that took the Cobras to within 25 runs of their target.
Baartman then picked up the wicket of Cobras captain Piedt for a single, Second taking his third catch, as the Cobras slipped to 173-6. Rory Kleinveldt brought the confidence from his first innings half-century (the 17th of his career) to the crease as he settled any lingering nerves in the Cobras camp, scoring 19 off 13 balls and hitting two fours as well as a six to bring up the victory. Verreynne ended on 51 not out off 59 balls, with seven fours, in a very mature innings that played a major role in the Cobras securing their win.
Baartman was the pick of the bowlers for the Knights, returning figures of 9-0-39-3 (econ 4.33) as the team put in a brave bid to withhold the Cobras’ charge to victory.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images