Two devastating spells by Dane Paterson gave the Cobras a five-run win over the Knights in their Ram Slam match in Kimberley.
As the Knights chased 157 to win, he removed the openers for six runs in his first over, and then came back to cut short an assault launched by David Miller (59) and Ryan McLaren (19) in successive balls.
Miller and Theunis de Bruyn had put on 51 in six overs to repair the early damage, and after De Bruyn had been dismissed by Mthiwekhaya Nabe for 25, McLaren proved a willing partner as they put on another 55, taking the total to 112-3.
At which point Paterson struck again. Miller went for a dynamic 59 off 32 (4×4, 3×6) and the next ball, McLaren for 19 off 13. He ended with 4-24 off his four overs.
Aubrey Swanepoel (20) tried to anchor the tail, but the damage was too great. The Knights lost six wickets for 37 runs
The innings mirrored that of the Cobras, where a clatter of wickets in the later stage of the innings undermined the good work of Temba Bavuma (46) and JP Duminy (31).
They had rebuilt the innings after the loss of Hashim Amla (18) and Aviwe Mgijima (10), putting on 55 for the third wicket. Then Ryan McLaren struck in the 13th over, removing Duminy and Bavuma within four balls.
That inspired the bowlers to greater efforts: Mbulelo Budaza, who had removed Amla, took out Qaasim Adams (8) and Ferisco Adams (16) in the 17th over, and added GF Linde (10) in the 19th for a return of 4-32, while Shadley van Schalkwyk added Kyle Verrynne (3) and Rory Kleinveldt (1).
The Cobras had lost five wickets for 20 runs in 15 balls.
In Durban, the Dolphins and Highveld Lions players did not even get on to the field due to rain.
Such is the generosity of the competition that the Dolphins, even with five washouts (which gave them 10 points, the equivalent of two and a half wins) can still qualify for the semifinals. While the Cobras surged to 18 points, the Dolphins sit on 14 points, alongside the Lions. The Knights are on 12.
Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images