Cobras in command at the end of day one
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras made a solid start to their title bid in their final Sunfoil Series match of the season against the Chevrolet Knights at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
The Cobras ended the first day on 104 for one, 87 runs behind the Knights after they dismissed the hosts for 191 in their first innings.
At the close of play Richard Levi was unbeaten on 61 and Stiaan van Zyl was going along steadily on 29 off 63 balls.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, the visitors struggled a bit in the first session with Gihahn Cloete and Rilee Rossouw putting on a solid 99-run partnership after opener Ryan Second (3) was dismissed cheaply.
Rossouw and Cloete stuck it out until the lunch break, but everything fell apart after the break for the hosts with Beuran Hendricks bagging 4-50 while Justin Kemp and Robin Peterson picked up two wickets apiece.
Rossouw was dismissed for 59, caught by Andrew Puttick off Hendricks, and was soon followed back to the hut by Cloete, out for 41 nicking behind to wicketkeeper Dane Vilas.
A collapse then followed in which not a single one of the Knights' batsmen managed to pass more than 18 runs and while there was a valiant effort from the tail with Shadley van Schalkwyk and Malusi Siboto combining for a gritty 30-run partnership for the 10th wicket, the Cobras managed to restrict the Knights to under 200.
Cobras opener Puttick fell cheaply, dismissed by Johan van der Wath for seven with Ryan McLaren taking the catch. However, Levi and Van Zyl dug in and steered their side to safety to ensure that the Cobras are in a strong position heading into day two.
The Cobras are currently title favourites and a win over the Knights will ensure they take the title back to Cape Town.
CHEVROLET KNIGHTS: Rudi Second (wk), Gihahn Cloete, Rilee Rossouw, Ryan Bailey, Obus Pienaar, Ryan McLaren, Werner Coetsee, Johan van der Wath (capt), Dillon du Preez, Shadley van Schalkwyk, Malusi Siboto
NASHUA MOBILE CAPE COBRAS: Richard Levi, Andrew Puttick, Justin Ontong (capt), Yaseen Vallie, Dane Vilas (wk), Justin Kemp, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, Johann Louw, Beuran Hendricks