Ontong stands, Cobras fall

2014-03-14 00:00

A VALIANT unbeaten century from Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras captain Justin Ontong proved to be all but a lone hand as the Chevrolet Knights reached the stumps on day one of their Sunfoil Series clash at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley yesterday at 19 without loss in reply to the Cobras 247 all out, facing a deficit of 228.

Ontong finished the innings undefeated on 142 and only a fighting 50 from Yaseen Vallie offered the skipper any notable support.

Quinton Friend’s four for 25 was the stand-out performance from the Knights bowlers, although Werner Coetsee’s return of three for 45 provided similarly good value.

The Cobras made the worst possible start, as a brace of wickets from Friend and an early strike from Corne Dry (two for 58) left them reeling at 10 for three.

Ontong and Vallie carried the visitors to 91 for three by the lunch break, with Ontong having raised his 50, and both accelerated the run rate when the players returned after the interval. However, the runs dried up with the crucial wicket of Vallie to end a vital partnership of 116. The further losses of Dane Piedt and Justin Kemp for six runs each shortly after then left the Cobras back in the mire at 166 for six.

But Ontong raised his 21st first-class century shortly before tea, as the Cobras ended the session with no further damage and a score of 189.

He and Robin Peterson (18) were resolute after the break too, with the left-hander content in playing the anchor role to the more prolific Ontong.

Peterson’s 75-ball act of defiance was eventually brought to an end by the legspinner with the score on 235, and it proved to be the back of any partner capable of supporting Ontong, who could only sit and watch helplessly as Friend and Duanne Olivier (one for 46) clinically cleaned up the remaining three wickets in the space of 3.3 overs.

The Cobras were simply unable to make inroads and departed the field reflecting on a day that rather got away from them.

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