The Lions need just 43 more runs to beat the Cape Cobras with all 10 wickets in hand in their Sunfoil Series opener.
The Cobras now have on-field problems to go with their off-field problems, as they will open their campaign with a defeat by the time the morning session is wrapped up on day three.
With a number of their players aggrieved at the decision of the board to keep their head coach Paul Adams on, it appears it has crept into their performances on the field. After being skittled for 102 all out, they did manage to peg the Lions back to 154 all out, but more of the same batting calamity followed as they were stranded on 17-4 at one point. Jason Smith had other ideas however as he managed to score 95, to go with his 4-24 from the Lions’ first innings, to lift the Cape-based side to 211 all out.
It’s been a debut to remember for 18-year-old all-rounder Wiaan Mulder, who has match figures of 7-64. Needing 160 for victory, Stephen Cook (63) and Rassie van der Dussen (43) have so far picked the bowlers apart with ease, racing to 117-0 by the close of play.
There’s drama in Pretoria, too, as the Knights have turned things around dramatically to put themselves firmly in the driving seat going into day three. The Titans had a significant 113-run lead going into their second innings, but Marchant de Lange, on debut against his previous employers, absolutely tore apart the Titans with his best-ever figures. His incredible 7-23 saw the Titans crash to a record-low 54 all out.
That’s given the boys from Bloemfontein 171 for victory, and they are well positioned on 41-1, with new skipper and former Titans batsman Theunis de Bruyn (15) and Michael Erlank (16) looking to guide their side home on Friday.
A rather more ‘normal’ scorecard is that between the Dolphins and the Warriors. A century from Daryn Smit and big fifties from Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo and Kesh Maharaj lifted them to 478 all out. In response, the Warriors are 104-1, with Colin Ackermann (56) and Edward Moore (46) going along cautiously, but nicely.
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