Bloemfontein - Dane Vilas struck an aggressive unbeaten century to boost the Cape Cobras to 293/7 at stumps on the first day of their Sunfoil Series against the Knights at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Vilas was in a destructive mood and raced to his second century of the season off a mere 137 balls, before ending the day on 131 (185 balls, 16 fours, 1 six).
The visitors had won the toss and elected to bat, but they endured a rocky start to their innings by slipping to 99/5. This was against a Knights outfit that began the match less than 11 points behind the log-leading Unlimited Titans and with a real chance of challenging for the Sunfoil Series title.
Andrew Puttick (10), Simon Khomari (19), Stiaan van Zyl (9), Omphile Ramela (31) and Justin Ontong (11) had all been dimissed cheaply.
But Vilas and Wayne Parnell (24) steadied the innings with a 47-run sixth-wicket stand.
Dane Piedt then joined Vilas at the crease and the pair defied the Knights’ bowlers for 36.1 overs during their seventh-wicket stand of 132 runs.
Piedt was eventually bowled by paceman Corne Dry after scoring a valuable 44 (114 balls, 7 fours) to leave the Cobras on 278/7.
Vilas and Beuran Hendricks (9 not out) then steered the visitors to the close of play.
The wickets were shared amongst the bowlers with the pace duo of Dry, Shadley van Schalkwyk and off-spinner Werner Coetsee all ending with two wickets apiece.