A fine bowling display by the BuildNat Cape Cobras laid the foundation for a comfortable eight-wicket win over the out-of-sorts VKB Knights in their T20 Challenge encounter in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Wayne Parnell starred with bat and ball, while an attacking Richard Levi half-century and a dazzling 12-ball 39 by Kieron Pollard made light of the 146/8 made by the visitors after they won the toss and opted to bat first at PPC Newlands.
And they looked well set for a huge total thanks to an 83-run second wicket stand between Patrick Kruger (42) and captain Theunis de Bruyn, who struck 52 off 41 balls (4 fours, 2 sixes).
That had left them on 94/1 in the 12th over, but they then dramatically lost their way as Standard Bank Proteas star Wayne Parnell claimed 3/20 in an outstanding four-over spell.
West Indian sensation Pollard also played a role with his 2/18 as the visitors were strangled in the latter half of their innings to end with an underwhelming target.
The reply was a flying one as Levi and Parnell raced to 78 in the ninth over, before the former fell for 58 (32 balls, 9 fours, 2 sixes).
The latter fell for 34 shortly after the 100 was raised, but by then the platform was firmly laid. It allowed Pollard to cut loose and he blitzed fours sixes and three fours – scoring at a strike rate of 325.00 – as the hosts cruised to a commanding bonus point win with 32 balls to spare.
It was a vital victory in the context of the season and allowed for the Cobras to jump from fifth to third and in the strongest position to stay where they are on the log, which would see them qualify for next week’s play-offs.