• Dolphins in charge in PMB through top Ackerman ton

    In only his second game for the Dolphins, Marques Ackerman scored a superb 137 to guide the Dolphins to 330-6 at the close, while bowlers enjoyed the rub in the Cape Cobras-Warriors and Lions-Titans clashes in Monday’s CSA 4-Day Franchise Series action.

    Dolphins vs Knights

    A measured, mature first hundred for the Dolphins by Marques Ackerman helped his side to 330 for six at the close of day at the Pietermaritzburg Oval, after Dolphins captain Khaya Zondo won the toss and elected to bat on a dry wicket at the Oval.

    Initially, the Dolphins had to withstand a strong start with the ball from the visitors, and openers Sarel Erwee and SA U19 star Thamsanqa Khumalo were cautious up front. The pair put on 23 for the first wicket before Erwee was caught behind for 15. His opening partner Khumalo, who was making his first-class debut, was out when he hit one to short cover for six, having spent a lot of time in the middle, facing 45 deliveries and looking measured following a nervous start.

    Ackerman came in at the loss of the first wicket and was patient to start his innings, as he and captain Khaya Zondo were in rescue mode with the total 26 for two. The pair then started scoring freely on their way to a partnership of 114 before the captain departed for 34.

    It was from there that Ackerman accelerated his scoring rate, despite not taking any more risks, and with Sibz Makhanya having just departed for seven, the left-hander went to his first hundred for the Dolphins off 132 deliveries. As the heat and fatigue became a factor, the 22-year-old had to receive some attention from the physiotherapist for what seemed like cramp in the lower back. Despite the difficulty, he marched on to a well-deserved hundred.

    Thamsanqa Khumalo

    He was the next batsman to fall when he was bowled attempting the reverse sweep with his score on 137. His innings included 21 fours and one impressive six over extra cover, which he struck off spinner Tshepo Ntuli.

    Senuran Muthusamy was then joined by Grant Roelofsen and the pair continued to score freely as they put together a stand of over 50. Muthusamy went to his 18th first-class 50 in the 82nd over off 77 deliveries.

    The pair took the Dolphins to the cusp of the day’s play before Roelofsen nicked a Zakhele Qwabe delivery to the keeper in the third-to-last over of the day after scoring 32.

    All-rounder Eathan Bosch joined Muthusamy and the pair took the Dolphins to the close of play on 330 for seven, with Muthusamy on 81 and Bosch on seven.

    Dolphins 330-6 (MJ Ackerman 137, S Muthusamy 81 not out, K Zondo 34, G Roelofsen 32; ZC Qwabe 2-46, T Mnyaka 2-58, T Ntuli 2-111)
    Knights Still to bat
    Dolphins won the toss and elected to bat


    Cape Cobras vs Warriors  

    Rory Kleinveldt and Jason Smith struck with bat and ball as the Cape Cobras fought back well during the second half of day against the Warriors in Cape Town. The pair shared a crucial 75-run stand that rescued the log leaders from a limp 132 for seven to post 239 all out at Newlands.

    The pair then nabbed a wicket apiece as the visitors were pegged back to 60 for three by stumps on what proved to be a busy opening day. It was a crucial display in both disciplines by the pair, with Smith the architect through his holding innings of 74 off 115 balls (12 fours).

    Before that the home side, who are seeking a victory that will take them even closer to the four-day title, wilted under the pressure of a strong bowling display by the Warriors. The Eastern Cape side won the toss, and three wickets apiece by Basheer Walters (3-51) and Glenton Stuurman (3-88) jolted the Cobras badly.

    They were seven down by the 49th over, with only David Bedingham (43) and Kyle Verreynne (31) making any significant impact. It was then left to Smith and Kleinveldt (who blasted 42 off 44 balls) to provide some sort of meaningful total.

    There were also two wickets from Simon Harmer (2-32) and Lutho Sipamla (2-57) as the Warriors completed a good day with the ball. However, some of that work was undone when Lizaad Williams (1-21) and Kleinveldt (1-14) got rid of in-form openers Eddie Moore (10) and Gihahn Cloete (7) respectively, leaving the away side on 18 for two.

    Smith (1-9) then removed Yaseen Vallie (20) to dent the Warriors further, with Colin Ackermann (17) and Jon-Jon Smuts (5) taking their side to stumps, 179 runs behind their hosts.

    Cape Cobras 239 (JF Smith 74, RK Kleinveldt 42, DG Bedingham 43, K Verreynne 31, SM Khomari 20; BD Walters 3-51, GA Stuurman 3-88, L Sipamla 2-57, SR Harmer 2-32)
    Warriors 60-3 (MY Vallie 20; RK Kleinveldt 1-14, LB Williams 1-21, JF Smith 1-9)
    Warriors trail by 179 runs with 7 first-innings wickets in hand


    Lions vs Titans

    A superb three-wicket haul from Wiaan Mulder seized the advantage for the Highveld Lions on a rain-hit day against the Titans in Benoni. The Proteas all-rounder claimed three for 23 in 12 overs to leave the defending champions reeling at 160 for seven, when the weather intervened just 48 overs into the action.

    However, the men from across the Jukskei were fighting back, thanks to an unbeaten 46 from another national star, Chris Morris. Before that, though, the title-chasing Lions held all the aces as they made the most of winning the toss and bowling first at Willowmoore Park.

    They had the home side on 50 for four inside the first 15 overs as Andrea Agathangelou (19), Victor Mahlangu (19), stand-in captain Jonathan Vandiar (4) and Heino Kuhn (4) were all dismissed without causing too much alarm. Nandre Burger (1-32), Beuran Hendricks (1-38), Malusi Siboto (1-33) and Mulder were the men to make inroads, before Farhaan Behardien (28) and Henry Davids (19) tried to rebuild the innings with a 44-run fifth-wicket stand before both were felled by Mulder within the space of four deliveries, leaving the Titans staring down the barrel on 95 for six.

    Debutant and former South Africa U19 wicketkeeper Wandile Makwetu batted for nearly an hour for his four runs that assisted Morris to contribute 43 for the seventh wicket before his resistance was ended by Bjorn Fortuin (1-23). It was then left to Eldred Hawken (14 not out) to plug away at the other end as his 22-run stand with Morris was what held up the visiting side at the end.

    Titans 160-7 (CH Morris 46 not out, F Behardien 28; PWA Mulder 3-23, BC Fortuin 1-32, N Burger 1-32, MP Siboto 1-33, BE Hendricks 1-38)
    Lions Still to bat
    Lions won the toss and elected to field


    Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gameplan Media

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