Cape Cobras captain JP Duminy often talks about playing the “big moments” well.
Well, his team – especially the bowling unit – certainly did on Wednesday evening to beat the Knights by five runs in a thriller at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley.
After a middle-order collapse saw the Cobras limp to 156/9 after a promising start, it was the bowlers who turned on the magic.
Dane Paterson had confidently addressed the media in the build-up to this match and backed up his bold words with a superb performance.
The Proteas seamer claimed 4/24, with two early strikes putting the home side under pressure before returning to claim the big scalps of David Miller and Ryan McLaren in successive balls.
Miller in particular was making light work of the chase with a 32-ball 59 (4x4, 3x6), but Paterson dismissed the powerful left-hander just before the game slipped away entirely from the Cobras.
TAKE A BOW | What a performance from this man! With career-best T20 figures, Dane Paterson (4/24) was the key man for the @WorldSportsBet Cape Cobras as they fought back to claim their fourth win in the last five #RAMSlam T20 matches. #KNIvsCOB. pic.twitter.com/vXp9ZKbaZl
When Miller trudged back to the pavilion, the smart money was still very much on the home side though as they required just 45 runs from 41 balls with six wickets remaining.
But just like Paterson predicted that the Knights can be “skittled” once Miller and captain Theunis de Bruyn are back in the hut, it went just like that.
With McLaren falling to the very next ball when Paterson trapped the former Proteas all-rounder lbw, the Cobras bowling unit just squeezed and squeezed some more until the Knights could not breathe any longer.
INNINGS: Temba Bavuma (46) and JP Duminy (31) were going well as they brought up their 50-run partnership before @KnightsCricket's Mclaren and Budaza struck at crucial times to restrict the @WorldSportsBet Cape Cobras to 156/9 in the 20 overs. #KNIvsCOB pic.twitter.com/iP5uCcOqcu
Ferisco Adams may struggle in his opening spells, but the Bolander is fast developing a huge reputation as “The Ice Man” in the Cobras team.
Tasked with defending 11 runs off the final over, the little man from Robertson was unplayable once again as he picked up two wickets in the final over to get the Cobras over the line to entrench their second position on the log.
The Cobras will take plenty of confidence into their top-of-table encounter with the Titans at Newlands on Friday, especially now that Temba Bavuma has also found some form after a rapid 46 off 39 balls.