The Buildnat Cape Cobras achieved abundantly more than merely dismantling the table-topping Sunfoil Series team the VKB Knights, within three days in the penultimate match of the four-day showpiece to underline their steely character after a mediocre start with the bat.

“The win by 151 runs really did not reveal the commitment shown by every player on and off the field,” said a proud Ashwell Prince, coach of the Buildnat Cape Cobras. “We have now won three out of four matches (the elements played a role in denying the Cobras a win in the fourth match). You cannot ask for more from the players.

“To me it was amazing to see how every player put his body on the line in the field. The senior players like Andrew Puttick and Justin Ontong dived to save runs as they fought superbly,” said Prince in praising the comprehensive home win at Boland Park in Paarl.

The Cobras, on 85.74 points, still have a more than academic chance of winning the competition, as the Multiply Titans, on 94.62 at the summit, are not out of their reach.

The coach hailed the performance by the two spinners, Dane Piedt, who captured a match-winning 6-87 in the second innings, and Kyle Simmonds, who finished with a match haul of 7-98 on franchise debut and contributed an invaluable 28 in a partnership of 58 for the eighth wicket with Dane Vilas.

“The performance by Vilas was a very good one, and the way the lower order rallied to get us past 300 was important, as the VKB Knights knew when we had past 300 that it could be difficult on a turning pitch to win it,” Prince said.

Vilas scored 62, while Stiaan van Zyl contributed a 20th first-class ton. “Stiaan is just a class act. I saw in Oudtshoorn when we had to chase down a total in about 40 overs that he has the ability to play very attackingly.

“Sometimes he holds himself back a bit, but he is simply a class act. It is a bit of a pity that a player of such ilk is lost to South Africa and that more could not have been done to keep him available for South Africa.

“Just remember that he played most of his test cricket out of position as an opener and in India he was part of a batting line-up where nobody really blossomed with the bat,” he added.

Prince said Simmonds was very consistent and turned the ball appreciably. That is why most of his victims were scooped up by the wicketkeeper or the slip.

Piedt, he said, has at least 10 years of first-class cricket left in him and will definitely play for South Africa again. He bowled a classic attacking off-spinner’s line. He bowled outside the off stump and let the ball turn.
Piedt did not use his variations like the doosra or the Carrom ball at all, but kept it simple.

Yet his greatest trait is that he was attacking, instead of bowling wicket to wicket and keeping the economy rate down.

“I cannot fail to mention the name of Dane Paterson. On the second morning we had to take four wickets and he bowled an attacking and aggressive spell to dislodge the VKB Knights for 153 (a first innings deficit of a solitary run).

“You cannot underestimate his important spell in the bigger scheme of things,” he added.

Prince said he wants the Buildnat Cape Cobras to play an attacking brand of cricket when they step onto the field and they don’t want them to surrender or capitulate. “If we are beaten, it should be because we played great, but we were just surpassed by a team playing even greater than us. Then we can just salute them for their superior performance.

“But this is what we have done the past few weeks. We have played to a great standard and level,” he said.