CAPE TOWN - Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince is certainly spot on when he says his team “doesn’t do boring”. Even when they trounce teams, like the Knights at Newlands on Wednesday night, they do it with a great deal of style and swagger.
The visitors were simply overwhelmed in all facets of the game. Patrick Kruger tried to make a fist of it with brilliant 110 not out (110 balls, 9x4, 4x6) that rescued the Knights from the perilous position of 75/5. With the support of Shadley van Schalkwyk (20) and Duanne Olivier (25), it helped push the Knights up to a respectable 239/9.
However, it was soon evident that the total was well below par on another good surface served up by Newlands curator Evan Flint and his groundstaff.
It was so good that Cobras captain JP Duminy finished the game off in a major hurry when the left-hander blasted a South African record 37 runs off Eddie Leie’s seventh over. It eclipsed former Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs’s six sixes in over against the Netherlands at St Kitts in the 2007 ICC World Cup.
The sequence of Duminy’s blitz went: 6, 6, 6, 6, 2, nb4, 6! And right there it was all over in the 37th over and the Cobras had secured the all-important bonus point in their quest for a home Momentum One-Day Cup semi-final.
Duminy’s individual pyrotechnics show cannot, though, take the shine away from a superb all-round team performance. Rory Kleinveldt led the way with the ball with 2/22 from his eight overs, while George Linde also picked up 2/37.
This all set it up for Temba Bavuma and Pieter Malan to get the chase off to a solid start with an 80-run partnership off 17.1 overs. Malan fell for 42 off 54 balls (6x4), but Bavuma simply continued on his merry way.
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC | @WorldSportsBet Cape Cobras skipper @jpduminy21 SMASHED a South African List A record of 37 runs in a single over to seal an eight-wicket bonus point victory v @KnightsCricket. #MODC #COBvKNI pic.twitter.com/vFcuApC43a
The Proteas Test batsman played fluently throughout his innings, and stroked the ball confidently on both sides of the wicket. His presence at the crease also allowed young Simon Khomari to settle in at the crease. The partnership grew steadily with the pair putting on a further 66 runs for the third wicket before Bavuma was unfortunately bowled off his arm after reaching his half-century.
A feature of the partnership was the pacy running between the wickets as the pair turned singles into two’s on a regular basis.
Khomari, though, settled into his work and too brought up his second successive half-century for the Cobras. The classy left-hander looks a different player to the youngster that started the season, and is certainly benefitting from the confidence shown in him by Prince and the management team.
A definite sign of Khomari’s growing confidence was the way he reverse-swept leg-spinner Diego Rosier with assurance on regular occasions.
All of this could not have though prepared anyone for Duminy’s onslaught. Leie certainly suffered the full brunt with his figures taking a hammering, with the leg-spinner finishing with 1/90 off seven overs.
The Cobras have now moved into second place with 23, but still trail the Titans by one point after the defending champions also beat Highveld Lions with a bonus point.