Bloemfontein - The Cape Cobras celebrated their Sunfoil Series title by crushing the Knights by 10 wickets in the final match at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein, shorty after lunch on day three, with Richard Levi smashing a four off the last ball of the first over.
According to the supersport.com website, the Cobras required just three runs for the victory after dismissing the Knights for 227 in their second innings on the stroke of lunch.
The Cobras had a chance to wrap up the match with an innings victory, but Dillon du Preez (44) and Malusi Siboto (22 not out) added 45 runs for the last wicket in just 3.1 overs.
Du Preez smashed seven fours and two sixes in his 26-ball knock, while Siboto hit five fours in 10 deliveries. Johann Louw and Beuran Hendricks bore the brunt of the onslaught as Justin Ontong used his main strike bowlers in search of the final wicket.
The hosts lost six wickets in the morning session, after resuming from their overnight score of 60 for four. Hendricks and Louw were the chief destroyers as the pair shared eight of the ten wickets, with Justin Kemp claiming the other two.
Ryan McLaren (42) and Rilee Rossouw (41) were the only other contributors to the total as the Cobras showed just why they were confirmed champions of the Sunfoil Series before lunch on day two.
Rossouw lasted only three overs in the morning session before being caught by Kemp off Louw's bowling. Rossouw and Obus Pienaar put on 41 runs for the fifth wicket, at a blistering pace of 6.15 runs per over.
The Knights lost wickets at regular intervals and were not able to build any sort of partnerships, as Kemp dismissed Pienaar (33) and then Werner Coetsee (9) in the space of four overs. Johan van der Wath smashed 19 runs off 14 balls before being castle by Hendricks.
Once McLaren lost his wicket, caught behind off Hendricks in the 41st over, the writing was on the wall in permanent marker, but Du Preez and Siboto ensured that the hosts survived the shame of losing by an innings.
Louw ended with 5-70 from 13.3 overs, while Hendricks continued to impress with 3-67 from 12 overs, taking his match tally to seven wickets.
The Knights were always behind the 8-ball, after they were sent into bat by the Cobras' captain, Justin Ontong. The hosts were dismissed for 191 in their first innings, with only Rossouw (59) and Gihahn Cloete (41) posting any meaningful contribution.
Hendricks snapped up four victims for 50 runs in 15 overs, which also included four maidens. Kemp and Robin Peterson picked up two wickets each.
The Cobras then replied with 416 for six, declared, with centuries from Richard Levi (121), Stiaan van Zyl (148) and the captain himself. Ontong faced just 135 balls for his 109. Van Zyl's 447-minute knock included 24 boundaries and one six, while sharing in two significant partnerships.
Van Zyl and Levi shared a second wicket partnership of 165, while Ontong and Van Zyl added exactly 200 for the third wicket, which knocked the stuffing out of the hosts. After losing Vilas and Yaseen Vallie in quick succession, Ontong declared when Van Zyl lost his wicket.
The Knights' bowlers toiled hard, but could not match their opponents with the ball. Johan van der Watch and McLaren both claimed two wickets, but were quite expensive in the grand sceme of things. Only Du Preez showed any form of restriction, conceding only 26 runs from 12 overs.
The Cobras regained the title they surrendered to the Titans last season, with the former champions ending bottom of the Sunfoil Series log.