Hardus Viljoen destroyed the Warriors as Lions surged into a commanding position in their Sunfoil match at the Wanderers on Monday.
The right-arm quickie, who took 10 wickets against the Dolphins last week, smashed through the Warriors line-up, taking 3-28 in eight overs and then going on to claim 6-44 off 15.5. In between Aaron Phangiso cracked the middle order with his left-arm spin and Nono Pongola removed David White, the only batsman trying to hold up the innings with 33 off 90 deliveries.
The Warriors might have considered themselves satisfied after holding the Lions to under 300 in their first innings, but it took just 55 overs to dispel that euphoria. To rub it in, Stephen Cook, scorer of five centuries last season, guiding the Lions to the title, found form to run up 62 off 111 balls, alongside Rassie van der Dussen (25) as the Lions ended the day on 98 without loss and a lead of 226 with two days remaining.
Titans v Cobras
The Cobras are in deep trouble against the Titans: forced to follow on after being smashed for just 107 in their reply to the Titans’ 362.
The unorthodox left-am spinner Tabraiz Shamsi came away with the honours, taking 5-22, but it was Chris Morris who did the damage at the top of the order, removing Simon Khomari (16), Keegan Petersen (1) and Lesiba Ngoepe (5) to end with 3-13 off 11 overs.
Justin Ontong, the No 4 batsman, walked away unbeaten with 36 from 49 balls. No one was able to stay with him.
The Cobras have fared better in their second attempt, running up 122 for the loss of Khomari (25) – Shamsi’s sixth wicket in the day – and Omphile Ramela (2). Andrew Puttick (57) and Ontong (26) are holding the fort overnight, but the Cape side are still 133 behind with eight wickets in hand.
Coming off their three-day defeat to the Knights at Newlands, the Cobras are in need of some positives direction.
Knights v Dolphins
The left-arm spin of Keshav Maharaj tied the Knights up in knots to put the Dolphins in charge in Kimberley. Chasing a moderate target of 306 in the first innings, the Warriors were reduced to 220-7, with Maharaj taking 5-50, off 26 overs, conceding under two an over.
Rudi Second fought a lone battle, but he hammered his way to his 10th first-class century off 170 balls (15×4). It would have been worse but for a fine fifty from Werner Coetsee, who helped put on 77 for the sixth wicket before he, too, fell to Maharaj, caught and bowled. Second was unbeaten on 110 at the close, when rain cut the day short, but he has precious little support to come.
The onus will almost certainly shift to the Warriors bowlers before long.