Piedt, Muller bowl Cobras to victory
In a match full of terrific individual performances from both sides, the defining roles were played by fast bowler Travis Muller and offspinner Dane Piedt, who took five wickets each to dismiss Dolphins for 84 in the final innings and secure a 168-run victory for Cobras in Paarl. Piedt ended the contest with a hat-trick.
Dophins also had an exceptional bowler in their ranks, fast bowler Kyle Abbott who took 12 wickets in the match. He claimed 5 for 60 in the first innings, after Dolphins won the toss, but the Cobras captain Justin Ontong rallied for his side and scored 150. Ontong lifted an innings that had slumped to 98 for 5 and led it past 300. Cobras were dismissed for 304 early on the second day.
Dolphins were far more solid in their reply and had lost only four wickets by the time they drew level with Cobras' first-innings score. That platform had been built by Khaya Zondo, who made 127 at No. 3, and David Miller, who contributed 72. The collapse began soon after Dolphins got to 304, though, and they lost their last six wickets for 28 runs to be dismissed for 332. Dane Paterson and Justin Kemp took three wickets each for Cobras.
Having conceded only a 28-run lead when it was looking much worse, Cobras were strong in their second innings after the loss of an early wicket. Andrew Puttick and Stiaan van Zyl added 187 for the second wicket, but another crash was around the corner. Van Zyl was bowled for 99, and Puttick was eventually the seventh man out, for 123. Once the partnership was broken Abbott ran riot, storming to a seven-wicket haul in 18.2 overs. Cobras lost nine for 87 and were dismissed for 280 early on the fourth day.
As Dolphins began chasing 253 - the lowest total of the game - with most of the final day remaining, any result was possible. Their openers got to 26 unscathed; it was the highest stand of the innings. Muller cut through the top order to reduce Dolphins to 53 for 4, Piedt dismissed Miller and Daryn Smit with the score on 59, and Muller picked up his fifth when Abbott edged behind. Cobras were fast favourites.
At 84 for 7, Dolphins were tottering and Piedt provided a quick finish. In the 26th over he dismissed Keshav Maharaj, Mthokozisi Shezi and Craig Alexander off successive deliveries to complete a memorable Cobras win.
A six-for from Johan van der Wath and a century from wicketkeeper Rudi Second led Knights to a ten-wicket win against Warriors in Bloemfontein.
Warriors won the toss, but apart from opener David White, the rest of the top order failed. They were 116 for 4 in 40 overs, after which White found a solid partner in Ryan Bailey. The pair added 111 for the fifth wicket but once White fell for 112 and Bailey for 60, van der Wath ran through the lower order. Warriors lost six wickets for 47 and were dismissed for 274 on the second day. Van der Wath ended with 6 for 74 for Knights.
Knights openers added 45 but then fell in the space of three runs. Their middle order, however, was solid. Rilee Rossouw made 52 and added 80 with Second for the third wicket, after which Second and Obus Pienaar, who made 48, put on 106 for the fourth. Knights were well placed to take a commanding lead but they collapsed from 234 for 3 to 256 for 9. Basheeru-Deen Walters took 4 for 75 for Warriors.
Second was still batting, though, and he found support from the last man Corne Dry. They put on 145 runs for the 10th wicket to give Knights a 127-run lead. Dry made 43 off 55 balls and was unbeaten when Second was dismissed for 180. Their partnership had transformed the total to 401.
White once again delivered for Warriors in the second innings, scoring 89, but this time there was no support from the rest. Bailey's 39 was the next best score and Warriors collapsed from 160 for 4 to 197 all out. Second's three dismissals in the second innings took his tally to seven in the match.
Knights needed to chase only 71 and their openers did it in 18.3 overs.