• Divan digs deep for Dolphins

    Divan van Wyk starred against the Knights and Darryl Brown dug thwarted the Lions somewhat, while the Titans got the better of the Cobras on day one of this week’s round of key Sunfoil Series fixtures.

    Divan digs deep for Dolphins

    Divan van Wyk’s unbeaten century led the way as the Dolphins made a steady start to their Sunfoil Series encounter against the Knights at Kingsmead on Thursday.

    A day after celebrating his 30th birthday, Van Wyk batted through the 96 overs to register his 16th first-class century – and go to stumps on 109 not out, as the Dolphins reached 240 for three. The left-hander shared a 76-run opening stand with Imraan Khan after the Dolphins had won the toss and elected to bat, before Khan was caught off the bowling of Werner Coetsee for 48.

    After Khaya Zondo was trapped lbw by Quinton Friend without scoring in the next over, Van Wyk and Cody Chetty dug in, adding just 28 to the total in 16 overs as the Knights bowlers gave nothing away. When Chetty was dismissed by Shadley van Schalkwyk for 21 to leave the Dolphins 105 for three, the Knights had their noses in front, but Daryn Smit joined Van Wyk in a patient stand that saw the Dolphins through to the close of play.

    Eager to ensure that the hosts did not miss out on the opportunity to post a solid first-innings total, the pair took no risks and scored at just 2.6 runs per over during the second half of the day. Van Wyk took 272 balls for his innings, while Smit went to stumps on 60 not out from 166 deliveries. Van Schalkwyk was the pick of the bowlers, taking one for 40 in 18 overs.

    All-round Titans stifle Cobras

    A strong all-round bowling performance from the Titans saw them dismiss Cape Cobras for just 308 and take the honours from day one of their Sunfoil Series clash at Boland Park.

    Rowan Richards led the pack with a three-wicket haul as the Cobras were dismissed in 83.4 overs, before the Titans advanced to 45 without loss at the close of play. Justin Ontong, Dane Vilas, Rory Kleinveldt and Mthokozisi Shezi all returned to the Cobras line-up after missing last week’s game in Kimberley, but the home side’s innings was a story of missed opportunities, with all but one of their batsmen reaching double figures and only Dane Piedt (66) scoring more than 35.

    They made a steady enough start after winning the toss and electing to bat by reaching 72 for one, only to fall to 144 for six as Richards (three for 91) claimed three key wickets. Having found the edge of Stiaan van Zyl’s bat during his first spell, the left-armer returned to pick up the wickets of Ontong and Andrew Puttick later on.

    It was left to the tail to carry the Cobras to a respectable total, with Piedt rallying his fellow bowlers as he shared a 61-run stand for the ninth wicket with Travis Muller (35) and then added 49 for the final wicket with Dane Paterson. Paterson was 24 not out when Piedt was run out to bring the innings to a close, leaving the Titans with 10 overs to bat.

    With Heino Kuhn forced out by a back problem, Theunis de Bruyn moved up to open the batting alongside Dean Elgar and the pair made a confident start. Both batsmen went to stumps unbeaten on 22, with De Bruyn needing just 25 deliveries to score his runs, meaning the Titans will begin day two trailing by 263 runs.

    Brown toils against Lions bowlers

    Darryl Brown’s unbeaten fifty kept the Warriors’ first innings alive at Buffalo Park as the Lions maintained their good bowling form in the Sunfoil Series.

    Brown’s first half-century in the competition patched together an otherwise underwhelming Warriors effort, as the hosts went to stumps on 279 for nine after they had lost the toss and been inserted by the Lions. The all-rounder was 50 not out when bad light halted play with 16 overs still remaining in the day, while Basheeru-Deen Walters was unbeaten on nine.

    That left the Warriors to reflect on a disappointing day that saw Michael Price (47), Somila Seyibokwe (37), Colin Ingram (40) and Andrew Birch (37) all make starts, only to lose their wickets at moments when the hosts were fighting their way back to parity. Sean Jamison was a slightly surprising inclusion in the Lions side, but he justified his selection by dismissing the top three, before a middle-order collapse saw the Warriors lose four wickets for 21 runs.

    Chris Morris (two for 18 from 15 overs) was the chief architect of that, having both Ingram and debutant Luthando Mnyanda caught behind after Eddie Leie had made the key breakthrough by bowling Seyibokwe just as the Warriors were making a comeback.

    Brown and Birch combined for the day’s most significant partnership when they added 55 for the seventh wicket, but Kagiso Rabada (two for 46) snuffed out that fightback when he dismissed Birch and then bowled Sisanda Magala. Brown and Walters managed to extend the innings thereafter, but could face a second new ball when the game resumes on the second morning.

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