Lions captain Stephen Cook continued his brilliant run of form and led from front once again, hammering 150 in a total of 250-1 against the Warriors in East London on Friday.
This was in response to the Warriors first innings effort of 287, wrapped up early on Friday morning after they had closed at 279-9 on Thursday night.
This was Cook’s fourth hundred in seven matches this series, and his 32nd in 155 appearances.
Rassie van der Dussen helped his captain put on 192 for the first wicket in 72 overs, when Sisanda Magala made the breakthrough, getting through Van der Dussen’s defence. He had contributed 74 to the stand, with 10 fours off 225 balls.
Captain Cook sailed on serenely with Alviro Petersen (16), putting on another 58 before the close.
Cobras v Titans, Paarl
Mthokozisi Shezi’s left-arm seamers put a severe dent in the Titans’ hope of catching the Lions when he took 6-51 off 14 overs to help dismiss the visitors for a paltry 175. Considering they started the day at 45 without loss and were at 62 five overs into the day, they collapsed rather spectacularly, starting with Thinus de Bruyn for 28, followed by Dean Elgar for 30, both caught behind off Shezi.
No one was able to hand around long enough to build a partnership, and when Shezi and Dane Paterson combined to take three wickets without a run being score,the Titans were out on their feet at 157-7. Shezi wrapped up the tail to give the Cobras a useful first-innings lead of 133 and a handful of much needed points.
By close of play, the Cobras, who have yet to win in this series, were 112-3, with Justin Ontong applying pressure with 30 off 46 balls and Omphile Ramela anchoring the innings with 16 off 93. They are in a healthy position, 245 ahead, and will be looking to close out the game on Saturday.
Dolphins v Knights, Durban
The Dolphins finally flexed their muscle as they piled up an impressive 455-5 declared, with Divan van Wyk contributing 171, along with brother Morne’s unbeaten 103 off 129 balls (13×4, 1×6). At stumps, the Knights had limped to 72-3, with Reeza Hendricks (34) and Pite van Biljon holding the fort.
Divan van Wyk came to the crease on Friday morning having secured his 16th first-class hundred the previous evening and the score on 240-3. He added 62 to his overnight total, while seeing his overnight partner Daryl Smit dismissed early by Shadley van Schalkwyk for 67. Unperturbed, he forged ahead, racking up a total of 22 fours until he too fell victim to Van Schalkwyk.
Morne van Wyk took up the running seamlessly in partnership with Andile Phehlukwayo, who was unbeaten on 42 when the Dolphins called time on the innings.
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