Cape Town - Reeza Hendricks completed his return to form with an unbeaten 98, but it wasn’t enough to get the Knights off the mark in the Ram Slam T20 as the Cape Cobras triumphed by four wickets at the Diamond Oval.
After going through a lean spell in the Momentum One-Day Cup, when he managed just 101 runs in five innings, Hendricks showed signs of improvement with his 42 against the Dolphins last week and backed that up with a superb 66-ball knock that gave the Knights a total of 174 for five.
That looked to be enough at several points in the Cobras reply, but the defending champions found the firepower in their batting line-up to keep up with a demanding asking rate and pick up their second win in the competition.
The Knights will feel they should have put the game to bed after Hendricks put on a 92-run stand with Rudi Second in under 11 overs, but that platform was dismantled by George Linde, who recorded figures of 4 for 21.
Hendricks brought up his fifty off 39 balls in the 11th over of the innings, but the Knights were pegged back soon after when Justin Ontong took a stunning catch on the long-on boundary to dismiss Second (35).
Linde backed that wicket up with two more in his next over as he lured Theunis de Bruyn out of his crease before extracting turn from the dry Kimberley surface, and then had Diego Rosier caught behind two balls later.
Linde returned later to grab his fourth scalp, but Hendricks recovered from the barren spell brought on by his teammates’ struggles to take 30 off the final two overs and finish just short of three figures.
The Cobras’ task became harder when they had a poor powerplay, which yielded just 34 runs for the loss of two wickets and ramped the required rate up to 10 per over.
However, Andrew Puttick (37) and Ontong (31) just about kept in touch with that in a partnership of 60, and after Ontong had fallen, Rory Kleinveldt was promoted to No. 5 and duly smashed four sixes in his 14-ball 36.
Momentum shifted back to the Knights when Kleinveldt and Puttick holed out in quick succession, only to swing again when Sybrand Engelbrecht scored 33 off 15 balls.
Engelbrecht fell with 12 runs still needed off nine deliveries, but Lesiba Ngoepe (16 not out) finished the game in style, hitting two sixes to carry the Cobras home with an over to spare.