The Lions are close to mopping up an innings victory over the Dolphins that will close the gap on log leaders the Cape Cobras. The Cobras look on course for a draw with the Knights in Bloemfontein after day three of the latest round of CSA 4-Day Franchise Series matches.
Dolphins vs Lions
Three wickets by Malusi Siboto spearheaded an excellent bowling display by the Highveld Lions that left the Dolphins on the ropes after three days of their encounter in Durban on Sunday.
The hosts went to stumps at 209 for six in their follow-on innings at Kingsmead after being dismissed for 149 first time around – a massive 274 behind the visitors’ first innings 423.
The top-scorer for the Dolphins in the match was Sibonelo Makhanya, and he represented their last hope of saving the game with his unbeaten 89 (142 balls, 12×4). The young right-hander was also batting at the start of the day when the home side resumed on 92 for five, but they lost their remaining five wickets for just 57 – Siboto bagging three of the five men to fall on the third morning.
The medium-pacer ended with three for 27, including the wicket of Makhanya, who also top-scored in the Dolphins’ first dig with 38. Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, the other overnight man, made 28, but there was little further resistance from the tail – the local side dismissed in 67.5 overs.
They were then asked to follow on by Lions captain Rassie van der Dussen, and his decision was immediately vindicated as the Dolphins slipped to 33 for three by the 11th over.
Grant Roelofsen (8), Marques Ackerman (4) and Khaya Zondo (0) were all out for single figure scores as Dwaine Pretorius (2-27) and Wiaan Mulder (1-25) did the early damage.
Opener Sarel Erwee and Makhanya set about rebuilding the innings. Erwee made 53 (112 balls, 5×4) and shared in a 77-run fourth wicket stand with Makhanya, before he fell to Beuran Hendricks (2-51). Senuran Muthusamy (4) followed not long after to Bjorn Fortuin (1-57), leaving the home side on 125 for five.
Phehlukwayo (32) did his best to support Makhanya with another handy stand of 57 for the sixth wicket, although he threw it away late in the day to leave the Dolphins still needing 65 to make the Lions bat again.
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 149 (BS Makhanya 38, MJ Ackerman 33, AL Phehlukwayo 28; MP Siboto 3-27, PWA Mulder 2-22, BC Fortuin 2-24, BE Hendricks 2-36) & 209-6 (BS Makhanya 89 not out, SJ Erwee 53, AL Phehlukwayo 32; D Pretorius 2-27, BE Hendricks 2-51)
The Dolphins trail by 65 runs with 4 second-innings wickets in hand
Knights vs Cape Cobras
A maiden first-class century by Dane Piedt highlighted the penultimate day of the 4-Day Domestic Series encounter between the Knights and the Cape Cobras in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The visiting captain made 114 (145 balls, 11×4, 3×6) to surpass his previous best score (92 vs the Highveld Lions, 2013/14) to help his side amass 470 in response to the hosts’ first-innings 319.
But the reply of the Central Franchise went well through day three after they reached the close on 135 for one – whittling down the 151 deficit to trail by just 16.
First-innings star Keegan Petersen was again going well with an unbeaten 59 (99 balls, 99 fours), while former South Africa U19 captain Raynard van Tonder (56 off 114 balls, 9 fours) was also excelling alongside him.
The log-leading Cobras had started day three well-placed on 249 for four, but quickly lost overnight pair Jason Smith (30), their other centurion David Bedingham (114 off 145 balls, 11 fours, 3 sixes) and Dane Paterson (11).
Shadley van Schalkwyk (4-67) did most of the damage, which saw the Cobras slip to 281 for seven and in danger of surrendering their good position.
But Piedt shared a 47-run eighth-wicket stand with Lizaad Williams (18), before adding a remarkable competition record partnership with Mthiwekhaya Nabe. The pair added 132 for the ninth wicket, breaking a record set six years ago by Simon Harmer and Ayabulela Gqamane of 129 for the Warriors against the Titans in 2012/13.
Nabe played an equally important role as that of Piedt by scoring his highest first-class score of 68 (87 balls, 9×4, 1×6) – a splendid effort considering his previous best score was only 12.
That boosted the Cape side to a strong position and they seized even more control of the game when Nabe removed Grant Mokoena for 15 to leave the Knights on 22 for one, but Petersen and Van Tonder kept their side in the game, the latter thanks to his second franchise 50, as the game was left finely poised at the Mangaung Oval.
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) & 135-1 (KD Petersen 59 not out, R van Tonder 56 not out; M Nabe 1-25)
Cape Cobras 470 (DL Piedt 114, DG Bedingham 112, K Verreynne 89, M Nabe 68, JF Smith 30; SC van Schalkwyk 4-67, T Mnyaka 3-109, R McLaren 2-64)
Knights trail by 16 runs with 9 second-innings wickets in hand
Warriors vs Titans
Half-centuries by Colin Ackermann and Gihahn Cloete put the Warriors in a strong position after the third day of play against the Titans in East London on Sunday. The hosts went to stumps on 254 for five in their second innings – a lead of 296 – ahead of the final day at Buffalo Park on Monday.
Ackermann led the way with 92 (156 balls, 11×4), while Cloete struck a free-flowing 63 (85 balls, 10×4) to help give their side a chance to push for victory against the reigning champions. Earlier it was Corbin Bosch’s maiden franchise half-century that frustrated the home side as he led a strong display by the tail that propelled the Titans to 366.
Resuming on 279 for seven at the start, the visitors would have pinned all of their hopes of closing the gap on the Warriors’ first-innings 408 on Henry Davids, but he managed to add just two to his overnight score before falling early for 57 (139 balls, 7×4).
He was bowled by Basheer Walters (2-92), and when Glenton Stuurman (3-84) took out Tshepo Moreki (3), the Centurion-based side were staring at a deficit of over 100 before Bosch and Alfred Mothoa (32) produced a 76-run last wicket stand that reduced the deficit to just 42.
Lesiba Ngoepe’s three for 27 the previous day remained the best of the bowling figures for the Warriors. Cloete and Ackermann then combined for an excellent 117-run second-wicket stand that gave the Eastern Cape franchise a solid base to their reply.
After the pair fell, 49 not out by captain Jon-Jon Smuts and Ngoepe’s 24 left the hosts ahead of the game at the close.
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) & 254-5 (CN Ackermann 92, GL Cloete 63, JT Smuts 49 not out, LC Ngoepe 24; S von Berg 2-90)
Titans 366 (H Klaasen 73, H Davids 57, C Bosch 53 not out, JD Vandiar 48, S von Berg 32, SA Mothoa 32; LC Ngoepe 3-27, GA Stuurman 3-84, BD Walters 2-92)
Warriors lead by 296 runs with 5 second-innings wickets in hand
Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images