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Johannesburg – The Cape Cobras lifted the domestic first-class trophy after romping home to a resounding 10-wicket victory against the Knights in their final four-day match of the season, in Bloemfontein, on Saturday.
The Cobras earned 20.06 bonus points, securing the top spot and finishing the match inside of three days.
“We had two do-or-die games at the back-end of the competition,” said Cobras coach Paul Adams.
“The key was to graft and to respect partnerships. Stiaan van Zyl was a massive factor for us with his two centuries in the final two games.”
Adams said the team – a blend of youth and experience – knuckled down in the final two games and showed a lot of character.
“The seasoned campaigners deserve credit for creating an environment in which the young players could perform and be comfortable,” Adams said.
Resuming on 60 for four in their second innings on Saturday, the Knights still faced an overall deficit of 165 runs.
They launched a blistering counter-offensive and succeeded in smashing 167 runs, but lost their remaining six wickets.
They were dismissed for 227 just prior to the lunch interval forcing the Cobras to bat again in search of a mere four runs.
It took one over after lunch as Richard Levi hit a boundary through the covers to complete an emphatic ten-wicket win for the visitors.
“The Cobras performed like true champions. We went to lunch on 80 for one on Thursday, but they dominated every subsequent session,” said Sarel Cilliers, the Knights coach.
“We needed to convert good starts into centuries, but didn't achieve that. Levi and Stiaan (van Zyl) showed us the way by scoring tons.” – Sapa