CAPE TOWN - A new match, some new players, but the same old sorry story for the Cape Cobras.
After having the week off to re-organise and re-strategise, the home team still came out and gravely disappointed the die-hard souls who had chosen to come to Newlands on a glorious day for the last home game of the season on Sunday.
But perhaps we should all be grateful for small mercies that the 2016-17 domestic cricket season has come to an end. There is still one game remaining for the Cobras in this Momentum One-Day Cup, but that’s away to the Titans and thankfully it’s not being televised on Thursday.
Yes, it has become that soul-destroying to watch the Cobras this season. This is not a dig at Cobras coach Ashwell Prince and his support staff. The players need to do some soul-searching during off-season to realise what a privilege it actually is to ply their trade at this hallowed old ground.
Newlands is the home of legends.
From the time of Eddie Barlow through to Garth le Roux, Gary Kirsten, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander it has always been the place where quality cricket was on display.
Not Sunday though, or at least not from the men in royal blue.
For the third match in succession at Newlands, the Cobras bowlers conceded 300-runs plus. A second-wicket partnership of 183 between Rudi Second (103 off 128 balls) - the fifth opener to blast a century in three Newlands matches - and Tumelo Bodibe 93 (107 balls) placed the Knights in an unassailable position.
Cobras veteran Rory Kleinveldt, pictured, tried valiantly to keep the central franchise’s innings in check with excellent figures of 3/41, but David Miller ensured the momentum was maintained with a lightning fast 58 (37 balls) that propelled the Knights to 300/5.
It only took 11.4 overs into the Cobras innings to realise that there was not going to be a spirited chase for the Newlands faithful to saviour. With no Richard Levi, who was sitting out with a groin injury, at the top of the order the Cobras slipped to 1/2, 2/2, 24/3, 37/4 and eventually 40/5.
Andrea Agathangelou struck a few enterprising boundaries in his 35-ball 24, but the Cobras needed much more than a cameo.
Dayyaan Galiem, who too was drafted into the side on Sunday, showed that he could form a big part of the Cobras’ future going forward with a battling 41 (47 balls) and the hierarchy will hope the 20-year-old takes confidence from this innings into next season. It helped push the Cobras up to 152, but ultimately still ended in a demoralising 148-run defeat.