CAPE TOWN – There was a moment on the third afternoon that embodied this new Cape Cobras side.
It was the final ball of an extra-long day and Dane Paterson went racing towards the mid-wicket boundary and flung himself towards the ropes to save a single. It was a superb effort, but even more remarkable due to the fact that Paterson had just completed 10 superb overs with the second new ball that resulted in three game-changing wickets. It was this type of commitment, coupled with supreme skills that saw the Cobras romp to their fourth successive victory in the Four-Day Franchise Series yesterday.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. We have won games from different positions, which was a really pleasing thing for me. There were moments in the game that stood out, we had two hundreds and two ‘five-fors’, but it was a complete team performance. There’s moments when people need to crack the game open, and that’s what they did. I am just so proud how we have responded to it,” Cobras captain Dane Piedt said after the five-wicket victory over the Dolphins.
Despite his exertions on Wednesday, Paterson returned yesterday to wrap up the Dolphins second innings with two further wickets to finish with a career-best 6/63. There was also the big wicket of Dane Vilas (72) for Vernon Philander that saw the Dolphins close their innings on 282 - a lead of 170.
The Cobras’ run-chase endured a couple of hiccups before Philander finished the job along with Aviwe Mgijima (43 not out) with a lofted drive off Proteas left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj. Piedt was not overly concerned with the nervy end to proceedings, and believed it was all part of the process for his young team.
“Our middle-order is made up of (Zubayr) Hamza, (David) Bedingham, (Kyle) Verreynne, Mgijima all young cricketers in first-class cricket. But again, it shows they are capable of doing it. There will be speed bumps in their careers, but that’s part and parcel of the profession we chose. Again, they (are) not youngsters but young stars. In my eyes, everyone of them can go up and play higher honours,” Piedt said.
The table-topping Cobras don’t have much time to celebrate the victory, though, as they are back on the park on Monday, when they head to their alternative home venue Boland Park to host the Highveld Lions.
Elsewhere, a franchise-best 177 not out by captain Pite van Biljon ensured the Knights managed to secure an encouraging draw after batting out the final day of their Four-Day Franchise Series encounter against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth yesterday. The right-hander was unbeaten at the end having batted the entire last day, facing 292 balls, to ensure his side saved the game by reaching 366/6 when stumps were eventually drawn at St George’s Park.
Meanwhile, Stephen Cook struck a half-century on the final day as the Jukskei derby between the Lions and Titans petered out to a tame draw in Potchefstroom.
The veteran opener made 51 (77 balls, 8 fours) to help the hosts reach 154/5 in their second innings, a lead of 265, when the captains decided to shake hands at Senwes Park. ANA CSA@ZaahierAdams