Rory Kleinveldt knocked over five Knights batsmen to help the Cape Cobras clinch a One-Day Cup semi-final berth with a comfortable seven-wicket win in Cape Town on Thursday.
The 36-year-old seamer claimed an impressive 5-22 (the first of his career) to help shoot out the visitors for 186 at Newlands. Zubayr Hamza scored a comfortable undefeated 65 off 84 balls (6×4) to guide the hosts to their target with 35 balls remaining.
Victory guarantees the Cobras a place in next week’s playoffs as they move to 20 points on the table. The Knights sit on 14 points and will have to beat the already qualified Titans on Saturday, and hope other final round results go their way to have a any chance of progressing.
The Cape side did what they needed to do though, on Human Rights Day.
In a good showing in front of their home fans, Ashwell Prince’s side were made to field first after losing the toss, but their opponents failed to make the most of their decision.
They lost three wickets before even getting into double figures as Kleinveldt accounted for Patrick Kruger for a duck, as well as Keegan Petersen for two, before Vernon Philander, who was also hugely impressive in returning 1-30 from his 10 overs, dismissed Andries Gous for seven.
The opening pair ensured an exciting opening 4.5 overs as the Knights were backed into a deep hole from the off.
Captain Pite van Biljon managed just 14 before he lost his wicket, before Rudi Second (49) and Grant Mokoena (44) did their best to try and stabilise the innings with solid innings. Their partnership temporarily gave the Knights hope as they progressed to 118 for four, with the pair adding 73 for the fifth wicket.
Rookie Tsepo Ndwandwa (1-35) eventually broke the stand, and from there it was the Kleinveldt show as he blew away the tail to end with his career-best figures, the fifth of which took him to 200 List A wickets.
His previous best in his 172-match career was four for 22 for South Africa against Pakistan at Bloemfontein in 2012-13.
The Cobras had little trouble chasing down their target, despite losing Pieter Malan (17) and Janneman Malan (25) in quick succession.
That left the Cobras on 56 for two, with Aviwe Mgijima (27) following shortly thereafter, but Hamza and Kyle Verreynne (44 not out off 55 balls, with four fours) shared in an unbroken 87-run stand that led their side to a valuable victory.
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