Knights Off The Mark

Rudi Second’s superb unbeaten century trumped Colin Ingram’s own hundred as the Knights got their Momentum One-Day Cup up and running with a 13-run win over the Warriors at the Mangaung Oval.  Second batted through the innings as the Knights leant heavily on his 135 not out from 146 deliveries, which allowed them to post 252/5 after they had won the toss and elected to bat first.  The Warriors looked set to chase that down and maintain their unbeaten start to the season so long as Ingram was at the crease, but his dismissal for 120 at the business end of the game proved to be the key moment.

It left Christiaan Jonker and Simon Harmer needing 41 runs from the final four overs, but they never got close as Malusi Siboto, Shadley Van Schalkwyk and Quinton Friend all held their nerve with the ball.  Second’s score was the highest by a Knights batsman against the Warriors.  He stood firm after the hosts had been reduced to 43/3, with Sisanda Magala (2/41) doing the main damage, as he read the game situation and paced his innings accordingly.

He found support from Patrick Botha (28) in a 71-run stand for the fourth wicket that laid the foundation for a late push, which was aided by Tumelo Bodibe (31) and Werner Coetsee (34 not out) both scoring at better than a run a ball.  Ingram looked to be pacing his innings – and leading from the front – equally well, as the rest of his team batted around him.  A 90-run stand for the third wicket with Yaseen Vallie set the Warriors on course, even if it was a touch on the slow side, but the visitors needed at least one of the pair to see the game through.

That didn’t happen as Vallie was dismissed for 32 by Tumi Masekela with 15 overs to go, and Van Schalkwyk claimed the key scalp of Ingram in the final five overs.