Bloemfontein - Dane Vilas struck an aggressive unbeaten century to boost
the Cape Cobras to 293/7 at stumps on the first day of their Sunfoil Series
against the Knights at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Vilas was in a destructive mood and raced to his second
century of the season off a mere 137 balls, before ending the day on 131 (185
balls, 16 fours, 1 six).
The visitors had won the toss and elected to bat, but
they endured a rocky start to their innings by slipping to 99/5. This was
against a Knights outfit that began the match less than 11 points behind the
log-leading Unlimited Titans and with a real chance of challenging for the
Sunfoil Series title.
Andrew Puttick (10), Simon Khomari (19), Stiaan van Zyl
(9), Omphile Ramela (31) and Justin Ontong (11) had all been dimissed cheaply.
But Vilas and Wayne Parnell (24) steadied the innings
with a 47-run sixth-wicket stand.
Dane Piedt then joined Vilas at the crease and the pair
defied the Knights’ bowlers for 36.1 overs during their seventh-wicket stand of
Piedt was eventually bowled by paceman Corne Dry after
scoring a valuable 44 (114 balls, 7 fours) to leave the Cobras on 278/7.
Vilas and Beuran Hendricks (9 not out) then steered the
visitors to the close of play.
The wickets were shared amongst the bowlers with the pace
duo of Dry, Shadley van Schalkwyk and off-spinner Werner Coetsee all ending
with two wickets apiece.