A JP Duminy special (67 from 44 balls) elevated the Cape Cobras from the bottom of the log as they claimed a thrilling three-wicket win over the Knights at Newlands on Sunday.
After losing the first three matches of their RamSlam campaign, the Cobras won both of their fixtures this weekend, and will feel much more confident of making the cut for the playoffs as the tournament progresses towards the business end.
Duminy won the toss and put the Knights in to bat after the earlier game of the double-header day was won by the chasing side, the Warriors, against the Lions.
The Cobras’ bowlers responded well by breaking partnerships often enough to keep the visitors from going on to too big a score.
Rory Kleinveldt (3/19) shone with the ball as he accounted for opener Leus du Plooy (16 off 15), and then claimed the two big fish of Theunis de Bruyn (40 off 22) and David Miller (50 off 37).
That Kleinveldt consistently troubled the batsmen and conceded under five runs to the over will go some way to silence his many critics who believe he looks overweight and unfit.
Ferisco Adams (0/21) was the other bowler whose performance was noteworthy as the all-rounder bowled with impressive accuracy and was rewarded with a miserly economy rate, although he did not manage a wicket.
With Kleinvedt and Adams the pick of the bowlers for the second time this weekend, Proteas Wayne Parnell and Dane Paterson won’t find it easy to get back into the side.
The Knights’ 159/7 should not have posed too daunting a tally, even if the wicket did slow up a bit as Table Mountain’s shadow stretched across the lush outfield, but the Cobras certainly did not find the chase straightforward.
Richard Levi (3) and Temba Bavuma (7) stayed true to their poor form of late, and Hashim Amla (29 off 24) scratched around before he played on to the spin of Eddie Leie (2/38).
Skipper Duminy once again had his work cut out for him as wickets fell around hi and he had to anchor the innings.
At 108/6 in the 16th over, the run-rate required touched 11 per over, and it looked as if Duminy was going to run out of partners.
But he finally found some assistance in the form of Vernon Philander (22 not out off 11 balls), and the large home crowd were treated to lots of fireworks as the pair crafted a quick 50 partnership and the Cobras got up in style with six balls to spare.