A top-order collapse has left the Dolphins vulnerable against the Lions, the Titans are more than 100 runs behind the Warriors with just three wickets in hand, while the Cape Cobras and the Knights are fairly evenly placed going into day three of the latest round of CSA 4-Day Franchise Series matches.
Dolphins vs Lions
Wiaan Mulder and Beuran Hendricks shared two wickets apiece as the Highveld Lions took control at the halfway stage of their match against the Dolphins in Durban on Saturday. Injury-returnee Mulder was superb with the ball, sending down seven overs for the return of two for 12 including four maidens, while left-arm seamer Hendricks nabbed two for 22 in nine to leave the hosts limping to stumps at 92 for five.
This was in reply to the 423 all out by the visitors earlier in the day, thanks to an excellent 69 (133 balls, 4 fours, 2 sixes) by Rassie van der Dussen. The struggles of the Dolphins meant they reached stumps on day two at Kingsmead trailing by a massive 331 runs.
It ended a woeful day for the home side, who would have been hoping to build on the strong end to day one that saw them claim three wickets in 21 deliveries to leave the Lions on 295 for four overnight. But Van der Dussen managed to shepherd the tail well by adding 128 with the lower order, despite wickets falling regularly until they were all out in 136.3 overs.
Senuran Muthusamy was the pick of the bowlers with four for 119, while Ethan Bosch nabbed three for 77. The Dolphins, who beat the same opponents in their last game, were put on the back foot from the outset as Hendricks removed Sarel Erwee (4) with the score on six.
Grant Roelofsen (8), Khaya Zondo (10) and Muthusamy (0) all offered little for their side, with only Marques Ackerman, making his franchise debut for the Durban side, putting up any fight. The left-hander made 33, but was one of the victims of Mulder as the home batsmen struggled.
They eventually went to stumps with hopes pinned on Sibonelo Makhanya (16) and Andile Phehlukwayo (17) – the pair sharing an unbroken 34-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Lions 423 (SC Cook 130, RR Hendricks 86, K Rapulana 54, HE van der Dussen 69; S Muthusamy 4-119, E Bosch 3-77, KJ Dudgeon 2-64)
Dolphins 92-5 (MJ Ackerman 33; PWA Mulder 2-12, BE Hendricks 2-22, BC Fortuin 1-23)
The Lions won the toss and elected to bat first
Knights vs Cape Cobras
David Bedingham’s second franchise century upstaged a career-best 4-Day Domestic Series score by Keegan Petersen as the Cape Cobras took control after two days of battle against the Knights in Bloemfontein on Saturday. The visitors reached stumps on 249 for four at the halfway stage of the game, 70 runs behind the home sides’ 319 all out earlier in the day.
Rookie Bedingham, playing in his maiden four-day season, was not out on 107 (210 balls, 8×4, 3×6), also his best score at this level. Earlier, it was Petersen who continued his gutsy innings by moving from his overnight 126 to end on 161 (286 balls, 21×4) at the Mangaung Oval. It capped a remarkable recovery for the Central Franchise after they had slipped to three for three at the start of the match on day one.
They resumed day two on 241 for eight and added 78 for the final two wickets, thanks to Petersen, Tshepo Ntuli (22) and Zakhele Qwabe (21). The latter was run out before Petersen was last man out to Mthiwekhaya Nabe (2-40), with Dane Paterson (3-69) finishing as the pick of the bowlers.
Like the Knights, the log-leading Cobras also made a poor start after Shadley van Schalkwyk’s (2-23) double left them on four for two. Another strike by Thandolwethu Mnyaka (1-60) left them in further strife on 35 for three, but a fine 162-run fourth-wicket stand between Bedingham and Kyle Verreynne, who made 89 (150 balls, 12×4), wrestled control completely back in favour of the visiting side.
Even though the young wicketkeeper fell 11 runs shy of his century, Jason Smith (29 not out) helped share an unbroken 52-run fifth wicket stand that took the Cape side in control to the close.
Knights 319 (KD Petersen 161, RS Second 53, SC van Schalkwyk 22, T Ntuli 22 not out, ZC Qwabe 21; D Paterson 3-69, LB Williams 3-91, M Nabe 2-40, DL Piedt 1-66)
Cape Cobras 249-4 (DG Bedingham 107 not out, K Verreynne 89, JF Smith
29 not out; SC van Schalkwyk 2-23, R McLaren 1-35, T Mnyaka 1-60)
Knights won the toss and elected to bat
Warriors vs Titans
Lesiba Ngoepe was the unlikely source of wickets as his three-for helped the Warriors end day two of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Titans with a slight edge in East London on Saturday. The part-time spinner, who had previously managed just 10 wickets in 74 first-class games, claimed three for 27 as the visitors reached stumps on 279 for seven – still trailing by 129 runs at Buffalo Park.
Ngoepe had earlier ended unbeaten on 72 (88 balls, 4 fours, 4 sixes) as the hosts were bowled out for 408. That proved to be a very good total, although the Warriors will still have some work to do on the third morning to dislodge veteran Henry Davids, who was still going on 55 (135 balls, 7×4) at stumps.
The Titans also had top-scorer and captain Heinrich Klaasen to thank for leading from the front with his 73 (122 balls, 8×4, 3×6).
The reigning champions had started the day by claiming the final wicket of the home side inside the opening 11 deliveries – Eldred Hawken the wicket-taker to end with one for 100. The best of the Titans’ bowlers, though, was Corbin Bosch (3-48).
Mark Boucher’s men then landed in some early trouble after Glenton Stuurman (2/50) and Basheer Walters (1-70) removed openers Andrea Agathangelou (13) and Tony de Zorzi (7) respectively to leave the score on 29 for two.
It needed a few good partnerships to drag them out of trouble with Klaasen at the heart of the first two. He helped Jonathan Vandiar (48) add 67 for the third wicket, before putting on the same number of runs with Farhaan Behardien (19) for the next stand.
After both fell to slow left-armer Ngoepe, Shaun von Berg (32) and Davids collected 56 together for wicket number six as the Titans hit back. But Von Berg and then Hawken (18) also departed before the close, making it advantage Warriors at halfway.
Warriors 408 (EM Moore 151, MY Vallie 75, LC Ngoepe 72 not out, JT Smuts 36, Qeshile † 28; C Bosch 3-48, SA Mothoa 2-37, TL Moreki 2-73, H Davids 1-26, S von Berg 1-108)
Titans 279-7 (H Klaasen 73, H Davids 55 not out, JD Vandiar 48, S von Berg 32; LC Ngoepe 3-27 3, GA Stuurman 2-50, JT Smuts 1-69, BD Walters 1-70)
Warriors won the toss and elected to bat
Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images