Cape Town – Cape Cobras all-rounder Justin Kemp made the Knights rue their decision to bat first on a spongy Boland Park surface in Paarl on Sunday.
Kemp claimed 4/20 in his 10 overs to restrict the Knights to just 94 all out.
Opener Richard Levi then continued his return to form with a rapid unbeaten 52 from 33 balls to ensure the Cobras got their campaign back on track with a 10-wicket bonus-point victory. The home team required just 10.2 overs to inflict a crushing defeat on the Knights.
The pitch seemed two-paced from the outset, with the ball holding up on occasion due to the dark areas on various lengths. The experienced Charl Langveldt took advantage of the conditions early on when he had Michael Erlank caught behind off the third ball of the innings.
The early setback set up a procession in the Knights dressing room with the visitors losing wickets at regular intervals.
Kemp hit his lengths from the outset and strangled the Knights middle-order through his accuracy.
The run-rate basically came to a complete halt, which only increased the pressure on the batsmen, and while the Knights tried to force the pace, they lost wickets in the process.
The Cobras’ cause was helped by some superb fielding, with skipper Justin Ontong and wicketkeeper Dane Vilas taking superb catches.
The downside for the home team was that Ontong injured his hand in the process and was forced to leave the field for the remainder of the innings. Vilas, meanwhile, claimed five dismissals.
The setback did not deter the Cobras, with Kemp bowling his entire quota of 10 overs from the Nederburg End on the trot.
Only tail-ender Shadley van Schalkwyk offered any resistance for the Knights, but he was eventually the last man out for a defiant 29. Van Schalkwyk was Cobras debutant Lizaad Williams’ first wicket at franchise level.
The hosts made light work of the run chase, needing 95 to win, with Levi and Andrew Puttick racing to their half-century partnership in fewer than seven overs.
Levi struck six fours and two sixes in his innings, while Puttick finished unbeaten on 35. – Sapa