Omphile Ramela’s third first-class century on his 27th birthday sent the Cape Cobras on their way to a huge first-innings lead, but the Knights made the perfect start to their second innings to set up a fascinating final day of Sunfoil Series cricket at Newlands. Ramela converted his overnight 81 into his first century of the season on the third morning before going on to score 129, which proved the bedrock of a Nashua Cape Cobras total of 545. However, Chevrolet Warriors openers David White (20 not out) and Michael Price (58 not out) erased a chunk of the 257-run first-innings deficit by batting through the last 29 overs of the day, taking the visitors to stumps on 88/0.
The Warriors therefore still trail by 169 runs and will need to bat at least two and a half sessions on the final day if they are to survive. While Ramela’s hundred was the highlight of the day for the Cobras, they also enjoyed contributions down the order as Dane Vilas (38), Justin Kemp (73) and Robin Peterson (29) all cashed in on the platform provided. Although Justin Ontong added just seven runs to his overnight 75 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Basheeru-Deen Walters (3/95), Ramela and Vilas combined for 73 and then Kemp and Peterson put on 66 for the seventh wicket in just 15 overs.
That took the Cobras past the 500 mark, but they elected to bat on right up until Kemp became the final batsman to fall, when he was caught at deep midwicket trying to hit Simon Harmer (3/129) out of the ground. His dismissal came in the sixth over after tea, leaving the best part of a session for the Cobras attack to make inroads. But they found themselves stonewalled by White, who made his 20 from 92 balls, and repelled by Price’s more enterprising knock.