Richard Levi produced another of his trademark foundation innings to help the Cape Cobras to a four-wicket win over the Knights in the Ram Slam T20 match at Paarl on Sunday.
While not as prolific as he would have hoped, his 36 off 23 balls once again gave the Cobras the base they needed to chase down 140 and narrow the gap on the Titans and the Dolphins at the top of the log.
Despite losing Andrew Puttick early in the chase for nine, Levi ploughed on undaunted. But it is a measure of his watchfulness that of his 23 balls, only six of them were used to accumulate 26 runs, through five fours and a six.
The Knights may have taken heart when Dillon du Preez removed Levi and Sybrand Engelbrecht (1) within four balls in the ninth over, to slow the momentum at 61-3. But Justin Ontong (40 off 42) took up the challenge and with Lesiba Ngoepe (19) put on 44 in 34 balls. After Ontong fell to Shadley van Schalkwyk with the score on 105, the Cobras had the momentum to win with three balls to spare.
In contrast, the Knights, who were sent in to bat, were in early trouble when Reeza Hendricks was run out for one and Rilee Rossouw (10) was dismissed by Rory Kleinveldt, leaving them at 17-2 within five overs. The loss of Aubrey Swanepoel (10), bowled by the slow left-arm spin of Siya Simetu saw them in an even more precarious position at 49-3 just before the half-way mark.
Theunis de Bruyn at last found someone to stiffen the resistance, in the form of Andre Russell. They put on 51 at nine an over. But a double strike in the 16th over saw the West Indian was bowled by Dane Paterson for 27 off 20 balls,which included two sixes, and the run-out of De Bruyn for 45 off 44 balls (3×4).
The tail-enders, though, did what they could to make the score vaguely competitive, contributing 39 runs off 26 balls, but once but Levi had got the ball rolling, it was never enough.