Kyle Verreynne played the innings of his life to score his maiden One-Day Cup hundred and guide the Cape Cobras to a sensational three-wicket victory over the Knights on Tuesday night.
Wicket-keeper batsman Verreynne ended on 114 not out off 119 balls (12x4) to secure the first win of the tournament for the visitors.
The 21-year-old had come to the crease with the Cobras in deep trouble at 15/3, in chasing 283 for victory at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.
Coach Ashwell Prince could only watch on as his top-order was decimated by Knights paceman Marchant de Lange.
Proteas T20 cap Janneman Malan lasted just three balls, and No 3 David Bedingham nine deliveries before both succumbed to De Lange (3/45).
And when Mbulelo Budaza got rid of Pieter Malan for three, the Cobras were down and out at 15/3 off just 3.5 overs.
But enter Verreynne, who joined Jason Smith in the middle. The former Wynberg Boys’ High pair put on a stand of 83 for the fourth wicket to bring the Cobras back into the game, before Smith was dismissed for 40 (62 balls, 3x4) by Shadley van Schalkwyk.
The 283-run target was still a long way away, but Verreynne then found another willing partner in Aviwe Mgijima, who hit a quick-fire 38 off 37 balls.
Verreynne was the glue of the innings, though, and he received valuable support down the order from GF Linde (21) and captain Dane Piedt (36).
But just when it looked like the Cobras were finishing things off, Piedt was trapped lbw by Van Schalkwyk (2/54), and the Knights were back in it as the Cobras still needed 19 runs to win off 14 balls.
Verreynne mixed up his play with his usual array of attacking shots and quick running between the wickets, and managed to go to his maiden one-day franchise century off 110 balls, although the Cape side weren’t home yet.
MAN OF THE MATCH— COBRAS CRICKET (@CobrasCricket) February 19, 2019
For his match-winning 114* @kyle_verreynne walks away with the Player of the Match award.
An exceptional way to score your maiden List A ton!#StrengthInDiversity #MODC #KNIvCOB pic.twitter.com/2Br30xSyu9
Proteas ODI bowler Dane Paterson wasn’t overawed with bat in hand, though, hitting three boundaries to finish on 17 not out to secure the victory with three balls remaining.
Earlier, Andries Gous, Ryan McLaren and Keegan Petersen all recorded half-centuries to set up the Knights’ challenging 282/6 total.
But the Cobras bowlers made valuable inroads throughout, and the fact that none of the Knights batsmen could match Verreynne’s exploits was the reason they fell short of 300 and ultimately cost them the game.@ashfakmohamed