Sorry Cobras disappoint yet again

Domestic Cricket

CAPE TOWN – A new match, some new players, but the same sorry old story for the Cape Cobras.

After having the week off to reorganise and re-strategise, the home team still came out and gravely disappointed the diehard souls who had chosen to come to Newlands on a glorious Sunday for the last competitive game of the summer.

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Knights star Rudi Second scored 103 off 128 balls against the Cobras. Photo: Frikkie Kapp, BackpagePixRory Kleinveldt produced figures of 3/41 against the Knights. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

But perhaps we should all be grateful for small mercies that the 2016-17 Cape 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 in Centurion, 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, who all work extremely hard at preparing the squad throughout the week, but rather a plea to a group of players that need to soul-search during the winter 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 on Sunday, though – or least from the men in royal blue. For the third match in succession at Newlands, the Cobras bowlers have conceded 300-runs plus.

A second-wicket partnership of 183 between Rudi Second (103 off 128 balls, 8x4) – the fifth opener to blast a century in three Newlands matches – and Tumelo Bodibe (93, 107 balls, 11x4) placed the Knights in an unassailable position.

Cobras veteran Rory Kleinveldt tried valiantly to keep the central franchise’s innings in check with the excellent figures of 3/41, but Proteas ODI star David Miller ensured the momentum was maintained with a blitzkrieg 58 (37 balls, 6x4, 2x6) that propelled the Knights to 300/5.

It only took 11.4 overs into the Cobras innings to realise there was not going to be a spirited chase for the Newlands faithful to savour.

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.

Debutant opener Andrea Agathangelou struck a few enterprising boundaries in his 35-ball 24 (5x4), but the Cobras needed much more than a cameo.

Former South Africa Under-19 all-rounder Dayaan 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, 5x4), 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 it still ended in a demoralising 148-run defeat.

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