The Cape Cobras pulled off a spectacular victory over the Knights in their Ram Slam match with an all-round display of power-hitting in Kimberley on Wednesday.
It was led by Rory Kleinveldt’s 36 off 14 balls. He had been promoted up the order after the chase to the target of 175 had fallen behind the required run rate, losing Richard Levi (12) and Omphile Ramela (7). But four sixes soon swung the momentum.
Despite the Knights taking wickets regularly, the Cobras struck quickly with Justin Ontong (31 off 27), Sybrandt Engelbrecht (31 off 15) and Lesiba Ngoepe (16 off 8) seeing the Cobras home by four wickets with six balls remaining.
Reeza Hendricks’ brilliant innings of 98 off just 66 balls was the foundation of the Knights innings. They took full advantage of the Cobras’ decision to bowl first, putting on 92 in 11 overs at 8.3, with Rudi Second contributing 35 off 25 balls.
It was not until Ontong brought on the ever-dangerous left-arm spinner George Linde that the Cobras had a chance of stemming the flow. He came on in the eighth over, but then switched ends. It proved an inspired move, for in a five-ball spell over two overs got rid of Second, Theunis de Bruyn (2) and Diego Rosier (0). From 92-0, the Knights were 102-3. Linde followed up with his fourth wicket, luring captain Werner Coetsee out to be stumped by Andrew Puttick for nine, but by that stage, the Knights were 134 with 21 balls to go.
Another wicket may have changed things, but Hendricks was in fine form on 83 and Ryan McLaren added a useful 19 off 11 balls before falling to Dane Paterson. Hendricks’ 98 contained 13 fours and a six, but it still was not enough to bring the Knights their first win in three matches.