Rory Kleinveldt bowled excellently for the Buildnat Cape Cobras in the 148-run defeat, but the support crew was just not good enough against the VKB Knights, while the Cobras simply did not possess the heavy artillery with the bat to chase big totals in the absence of Richard Levi.
That was the verdict of Justin Ontong, senior player of the hosts who saw the team implode to 40 for five in chasing 301 for victory in their penultimate Momentum One Day Cup clash on Sunday at the scenic PPC Newlands.
The defeat by 148 runs saw the Buildnat Cape Cobras’ Momentum One Day Cup campaign come to a stuttering halt. They were still languishing at the bottom of the log on 12 points after 9 matches.
It could have been so much different.
“If we had taken our catches, we could have and should have beaten both the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in closely contested matches at Boland Park,” Ontong added.
“This was a very different tournament to others in the past in which we reached the final in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016,” Ontong explained.
“The wickets were very flat because it was so late in the season, and it was not uncommon for teams to reach 300 runs or even 400. We required bowlers to take early wickets, but our ground fielding was very poor, and today underlined that as we were clumsy in the field although we did not drop any chances.
“The ground fielding and catching throughout the Momentum One Day Cup series were poor when you look at all the teams.
“But we needed somebody to step up when other teams achieved 300 or more against us. Apart from Richard (who struck 412 runs), there was nobody else who did it.
“Today was an excellent example,” Ontong said.
Kleinveldt captured 3-41 and was one of few Cobras that caught the eye at PPC Newlands on Sunday.
With Levi injured and Lizaad Williams also not declared fit, the Cobras slipped to 40 for five and they lacked the firepower in the lower middle-order to scrap and share in substantial partnerships.
For the first time in five years, the Buildnat Cape Cobras did not reach the finals.
The Cobras hosted the finals the past three years and also reached the finals in 2012/2013 when the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Cobras shared the winning spoils after the elements prevented play in the final and on the reserve-day.
The Cobras will tackle the second-placed Multiply Titans on Thursday 23rd March at 14:00 at SuperSport Park in Centurion in the final round of group matches of the 50-over domestic showpiece.