Wayne Parnell finished with career-best match figures of 12 for 105, guiding Cobras to a nine-wicket win over Dolphins at Newlands. Parnell had scythed through Dolphins for a career-best 7 for 51 in their first innings, and he took 5 for 54 in the second, ensuring that the game ended with a day to spare.
Dolphins folded for 139 in their second innings, setting Cobras a target of 71. Dolphins lost Simon Khomari early, but Andrew Puttick (33 not out) and Stiaan van Zyl (37 not out) made sure there were no further hiccups as Cobras marched to 74 for 1 in 16.5 overs for their third win of the season.
On the first day, Parnell had made sure Dolphins' innings lasted just 46.3 overs after they were asked to bat. Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who top-scored with 58, and Senuran Muthusamy combined for a third-wicket stand of 72, but Muthusamy's dismissal for 21 sparked a collapse as Dolphins slipped from 91 for 2 to 118 for 8. That they got to 183 was courtesy a rearguard effort from Craig Alexander, their No. 10, who blasted 54 off 35 balls.
Parnell came good with the bat, too, stringing together a timely sixth-wicket stand of 101 with Dane Vilas after Cobras had been reduced to 99 for 5 in their reply. Parnell made 31, and Vilas top-scored with 80, to take Cobras to 252 and give them a 69-run lead. Dolphins' new-ball bowlers did the bulk of the damage, with Alexander bagging 5 for 62, and Rabian Engelbrecht picking up 3 for 60.
Several Dolphins batsmen got off to starts in the second dig, but none managed to make it count. Besides Parnell's haul, Dane Piedt and fast bowler Brendan Young took two wickets apiece, while Vernon Philander accounted for one. Both Cobras and Dolphins, however, were already out of contention for the title.
Warriors chased down 95 in 17.2 overs to beat Knights in a wicket-fest inside two days in Kimberley, giving them their first victory of the season. It also meant Knights suffered their fourth defeat as their push for the title received a significant blow.
Fifteen wickets tumbled on the first day, and 16 on the second, before Martin Walters' 40 off 39 balls, the second-best score in the match, helped Warriors break their drought. Edward Moore, the other opener, stayed unbeaten, on 29, as did No.3 Colin Ackermann, on 21.
Having opted to bowl, Warriors seized the initiative by routing Knights for 128 in 51 overs. South Africa international Simon Harmer and Jerry Nqolo did the bulk of the damage, claiming combined figures of 21-9-36-7.
Even as wickets fell around him, Rudi Second ground out 41 in 155 minutes, the highest score in the low-scoring match. Werner Coetsee (33), the captain, and opener Reeza Hendricks (18) were the only other batsmen to make double figures.
Warriors then suffered a collapse of their own, but useful lower-order wagging put them in the lead. Seamer Duanne Olivier picked up his tenth five-wicket haul in first-class cricket and was ably assisted by Malusi Siboto as Warriors were reduced to 94 for 7 by the 40th over. Harmer stepped up with the bat and found company from No.9 Sisanda Magala; the pair put on 53, the joint-second best stand in the match.
Facing a deficit of 37, Knights saw their top order getting cleaned up by Anrich Nortje. He ended with career-best returns of 5 for 34. Coetsee, Shadley van Schalkwyk, and Malusi Siboto mounted some late resistance, but Knights only managed to set a target of 95, as they lasted for even lesser time in the second innings, getting bowled out for 131 in 34.4 overs. The small target was easily knocked off courtesy positive batting from Warriors' top three, as the team collected 15.3 points.