Rudi Second struck a composed century to lead the VKB Knights to a 113-run bonus-point win over the Cape Cobras in their Momentum One-Day Cup match at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.
Second recorded his third century of the season, striking 111 not out (143 deliveries, 4 fours) as the Knights posted 279/5 after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Seamer Tshepo Moreki was the stand-out performer with the ball for the Cobras as he ended with 3/45, which included taking two wickets in an over.
In reply, the Cobras could only muster 166 all out off 42.5 overs with paceman Malusi Siboto capturing 4/32, while Stiaan van Zyl top-scored with an unbeaten 70 (91 balls, 3 fours, 1 six).
The match was only of academic importance in terms of the playoff positions with the Cobras having already secured a home final, while the Knights’ playoff hopes were long extinguished although the win saw them move off the bottom of the table and into fourth place.
The Cobras were in the fortunate position of being able to rotate their team and regulars Dane Vilas (injury), Andrew Puttick (suspended), Dane Paterson (rested) and Justin Ontong (rested) were all missing from the visitor’s starting XI.
Second did enjoy a touch of luck during his innings as he has dropped with his score on 2 and then 79, but he and Reeza Hendricks gave the Knights a lightning start with the bat as the duo shared in a first-wicket stand of 128 off 23.2 overs.
Hendricks was the main aggressor as he raced to his 50 off just 38 balls as the Knights reached 100-0 in just the 16th over.
But the opener, who eventually weighed in with 82 (76 deliveries, 10 fours, 2 sixes), was bowled by off-spinner Dane Piedt as the Cobras fought their way back into the contest.
Second and Werner Coetsee (20 not out) then added some late impetus to the innings as they plundered 47 runs off just 4.5 overs in their unbroken sixth-wicket stand.
The Cobras lost wickets at regular intervals during their run chase with the next best score after Van Zyl being just 26 from Aviwe Mgijima.