The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras coach, Paul Adams, was in awe of his troops and of the way in which the Sunfoil Series log leaders regrouped after a mediocre first session against the Chevrolet Knights at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
The Knights were in command on 108 for one after lunch on Thursday, but collapsed in a heap in their first innings to hand the visitors the initiative. They were dismissed for 191.
At the close, the adventurous Richard Levi, with a barn-storming 61, had powered the visitors to 104 for one in reply.
Earlier, Beuran Hendricks was the destroyer-in-chief as he captured 4-50 in fifteen overs for the Cobras.
Robin Peterson, who removed Werner Coetsee and Dillon du Preez for ducks, also featured prominently with his 2-33, while Justin Kemp finished with 2-29.
“I am very pleased with the way we stuck to our game plans. We had to regroup after lunch, and we did that,” said Adams, the Cobra-coach.
“We built pressure very successfully, put the ball in the right areas, although they also got themselves out,” he said.
Rilee Rossouw scored a scintillating 59 off 94 balls and propelled the Knights to 108 for one as he was the senior partner in a promising stand of 99 with Gihahn Cloete.
But the top- and middle-order imploded badly and the Knights collapsed to 146 for eight under the pressure created by Hendricks, Kemp and Peterson.
“It was a poor day for us. If six of your ten batsmen are caught in front of the wicket, you have to acknowledge that poor shot selection was the pivotal factor in our demise,” said Sarel Cilliers, the Knights-coach.
“Kemp built pressure very well, but we let ourselves down with our execution.
“When we bowled, we were either too short or too full against Levi. You know how he approaches things, so you have to be spot-on with your lengths against that type of player.”
Adams was full of praise for Hendricks and Levi, as not one of them were initially regular senior players in the Sunfoil Series.
“They have used their opportunities,” he said. Hendricks, in particular, has evolved rapidly by taking 32 wickets in his first seven Sunfoil Series matches.
Adams emphasized the importance of not becoming complacent after the Cobra-domination on day one. “We have to respect the game and reset our goals for tomorrow,” he added.