Hashim Amla warmed up for the Bangladesh Test series by scoring 189 on a day of centuries in the Sunfoil Series.
It was not a day to be a bowler as the day belonged to the batsmen; and none more so that for the Cobras, who certainly redeemed themselves after being bundled out for 159 in their first innings.
The Knights, the defending champions, threw down the gauntlet massive 623-4 in reply. When the Cobras were 58-3, they must have fancied their chances.
Until Amla and Justin Ontong get together. They put on 251, until Ontong was caught and bowled by Shadley van Schalkwyk on 129. Amla, warming up for the Test series against Bangladesh, found an equally reliable partner in Aviwe Mgijima and solidly worked his way to 189 off 344 balls (22×4, 3×6). When he fell, agonisingly 11 runs short of a double hundred, Mgijima took on the responsibility by scoring his maiden first-class century. It came at a strike rate of almost 61, containing 13 fours and a six.
That brought to seven the number of centuries in the match and ensured the survival of the Cobras.
It was a closer run for the Dolphins, who ended on 311-7, with Khaya Zondo the anchor, ending on 102 off 210 balls (14×4, 2×6). The Titans had offered them 430 to win, and when they closed day three on 27-3, the prospects did not look good. But Vaughn van Jaarsveld’s 68 and a resolute 62 from Andile Phehlukwayo, as if celebrating his call-up to the Proteas Test squad, saw the Dolphins safely through to stumps.
In Johannesburg, the Highveld Lions too had to fight a rearguard action, but under less pressure once the Warriors had batted on to 199-4, thanks to fifties from Lesiba Ngoepe and JonJon Smuts, offering the Lions an improbable target of 350.
Omphela Ramela’s 67 and 52 from Rassie van der Dussen saw the Lions safely to the draw on 190-3
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