Cape Town - The Knights lifted themselves off the foot of the Momentum One-Day Cup table as they held their nerve to beat The Titans by three wickets in a tense encounter at the Diamond Oval.
Chasing 243 to win, Rudi Second once again led the way for the Knights, but there was still plenty of work to be done when he was dismissed for 83 in the 40th over of the innings according to the Cricket South Africa website.
It fell to the bowlers to finish the job, and Werner Coetsee provided the inspiration with his 34 from 23 balls before Malusi Siboto clinched the game in style when he hit Rowan Richards for six to win the game with two overs to spare.
Coetsee and Siboto had both played leading roles with the ball, answering their coach’s call for more incisive bowling.
Siboto returned figures of 3 for 43 from nine overs and also affected a run-out, while Coetsee was his usual parsimonious self, allowing just 31 runs in his 10 overs, but also picking up the key wicket of Heino Kuhn as well as that of Grant Mokoena.
Kuhn recorded his third straight score of fifty or more since coming into the Titans side, top-scoring with 55 in an innings where eight of the top nine made double figures but nobody else reached a half-century.
The only time that the runs flowed easily was through the Knights’ fifth bowler - Tumi Masekela who had a slightly expensive afternoon and backup bowlers Obus Pienaar and Patrick Botha who conceded 41 runs in four overs as Albie Morkel smashed 40 from 29 balls after coming in at No. 8.
Although Reeza Hendricks failed once again as the Knights began their reply, Second stood firm and received support from Diego Rosier (35) and Botha (31).
When Botha and Second fell in the space of four balls the Titans were back in the game, but Coetsee and Siboto made sure that the Knights’ chance to win did not go begging.