The Nashua Cape Cobras picked up their third bonus-point victory in four Momentum One-Day Cup matches as they beat the Chevrolet Knights by 73 runs at Newlands on Wednesday.
After a trio of half-centuries guided the hosts to a total of 285 for five, the Knights were bowled out for 212 in 45.5 overs to give the Cobras a nine-point gap at the top of the standings after just four matches of the competition.
It was another Cobras performance notable for its control, with the top order setting a platform after captain Justin Ontong had won the toss and elected to bat, so that the middle order could cash in during the last 15 overs.
Opener Andrew Puttick (55) passed a fitness test and went past 50 for his fourth consecutive innings, while Richard Levi (25), Omphile Ramela (25) and Stiaan van Zyl (22) all chipped in.
Although there was a slight wobble when Ontong was caught at slip for two and Van Zyl played on off the bowling of Dillon du Preez, leaving the Cobras 148 for five in the 37th over, Man of the Match Dane Vilas and Sybrand Engelbrecht quickly found their feet and began to score freely.
The pair truly cut loose in the final five overs, when they added 83 runs to take their partnership to an unbroken 137, with Vilas finishing unbeaten on 77 and Engelbrecht on 68.
The Knights reply got off to a bright start, with openers Gerhardt Abrahams and Reeza Hendricks putting on 59 in the opening powerplay, and Abrahams going on to score just his second List A fifty.
However, the 24-year-old’s wicket was bought by the canny Robin Peterson, who continued to toss the ball up after being hit for a six and duly had Abrahams caught on the boundary for 62.
Engelbrecht and Vilas combined once again to run out a well-set Rudi Second, before a three-wicket burst in the batting powerplay effectively put paid to the Knights’ hopes.
Once Pite van Biljon had been dismissed for 49 by Mthokozisi Shezi, the only target for the Knights was 228, which would have denied the Cobras a bonus point.
They failed to get there, as Shezi wrapped up the innings to record figures of 4 for 38.