Day three of the 4-Day Franchise Series saw the Lions and Cobras race to comprehensive victories, with the Dolphins poised to follow suit on day four.
An excellent six-wicket haul by Senuran Muthusamy helped put the Dolphins in pole position for victory after the penultimate day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Warriors in Durban on Wednesday.
The all-rounder nabbed six for 98 in 35 overs, his seventh career five-for and one that outshone a century by Colin Ackermann. Muthusamy finished the innings with figures of 6-98 as the Warriors finished their second innings on 376 late on day three.
‘There was a lot of toil out there and we just had to stick to our plans throughout the day,’ said Muthusamy.
‘We worked hard to try and control the run rate but I think that they did bat really well and showed good application. It is still a great wicket and the bowlers have had to be very patient and let’s hope that we can play more good cricket tomorrow to chase the 217 to win.’
It left the hosts needing 217 for victory and they reached 18 without loss by the close, needing just 199 more for their first win of the season. Before that, though, it was an intriguing battle between bat and ball as Muthusamy got the better of most of the visiting batsmen.
The Warriors had begun proceedings on 82 for one and still in arrears in the game. But they went about erasing the first-innings 160-run deficit admirably thanks to Ackermann, who made exactly 100 (151 balls, 15 fours, 2 sixes).
The all-rounder’s 17th career century was well complemented by half-centuries from three other players – Gihahn Cloete (54 off 79 balls, eight fours), Clyde Fortuin (66 off 107 balls, 11 fours) and Sisanda Magala (51 off 102 balls, seven fours, one six).
Yaseen Vallie also struck 39 and Simon Harmer 28 that enabled the Eastern Cape franchise to reach 376 all out. Apart from Muthusamy’s six, Robbie Frylinck picked up two for 69.
The Warriors were then seeking early inroads in the six overs they delivered, but they did not arrive as Sarel Erwee (16) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (2) negotiated the bowling until the close.
Warriors 175 (Gihahn Cloete 63, Edward Moore 37; Eathan Bosch 6-38, Robbie Frylinck 2-33) & 376 (Colin Ackermann 100, Clyde Fortuin 66, Gihahn Cloete 54, Sisanda Magala 51; Senuran Muthusamy 6-98, Robbie Frylinck 2-69)
Dolphins 335 (Sarel Erwee 44, Vaughn van Jaarsveld 138, Sibonelo Makhanya 54 not out; Lutho Sipamla 4-59, Sisanda Magala 2-58, Anrich Nortje 2-103; Robbie Frylinck 1-25) & 18-0
Dolphins need 199 runs to win with 10 second-innings wickets in hand
Beuran Hendricks and Craig Alexander shared seven wickets to send the Knights tumbling to a record 89 all out and, with it, an innings and 22-run defeat at the hands of the Highveld Lions on day three of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
There were also two wickets for young Migael Pretorius as the visitors suffered a second-innings implosion at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium where they were in the contest for most of the first two days.
But a collapse of monstrous proportions saw them lose seven wickets for three runs to succumb for their lowest score in the history of the fixture.
Left-arm seamer Hendricks was the pick of the bowlers with figures of four for 24 in eight overs – concluding a wonderful overall performance in which he ended the game with nine for 69. Fellow fast bowler Alexander bagged three for 36 and Pretorius two for 14, leaving the Central Franchise all out in only 22.3 overs.
The day had not started out too well either for the visitors after the home tail wagged its way from 333 for seven to 377 all out.
Malusi Siboto managed 33 of those runs, while Hendricks struck 13 and Pretorius 12 with Ryan McLaren, playing his 150th first-class game, removing all of them for figures of four for 82.
The Knights lost Luthando Mnyanda (three) and captain Pite van Biljon (0) with only nine on the board, but they then recovered well to reach the 19th over of the innings on 86 for three.
Pretorius removed both Grant Mokoena (15) and Andries Gous (0) in the same over, before top-scorer Keegan Petersen fell to Hendricks for 44 in the 20th over.
The same bowler then claimed three wickets in his next over, before last man Mbulelo Budaza was run out for a duck – the sixth of the innings – capping a forgettable performance by the Knights.
Knights 266 (Rudi Second 69, Pite van Biljon 67, Keegan Petersen 38; Beuran Hendricks 5-45, Craig Alexander 2-57) & 89 (Keegan Petersen 44, Rudi Second 17; Beuran Hendricks 4-24, Craig Alexander 3-36, Migael Pretorius 2-14)
Lions 377 (Temba Bavuma 94, Nicky van den Bergh 59, Rassie van der Dussen 32; Ottniel Baartman 3-48, Mbulelo Budaza 2-60, Ryan McLaren 1-64, Duanne Olivier 1-70)
Lions won by an innings and 22 runs
An opening stand of 132 between brothers Pieter and Janneman Malan led the way as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras made it three wins from three by completing an upset eight-wicket win over defending champions the Multiply Titans on the third day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Centurion on Wednesday.
Both hit half-centuries in pursuit of a 204-victory target as the visitors wrapped up a fine win to extend their lead at the top of the competition standings.
Earlier, Theunis de Bruyn was finally dismissed for 147 (211 balls, 24 fours) – a performance that helped the hosts fight back really strongly following their dismal performance with the bat in the first innings when they were shot out for 122.
But they responded with 418 in the second innings with the Standard Bank Proteas batsman at the heart of their recovery. He added 20 to his overnight total before becoming the first man to fall on day three after adding 52 for the sixth wicket with Henry Davids (42).
The latter and Rivaldo Moonsamy (13) put on 27 together, before both fell in quick succession, with the Titans all out not long after in 114 overs.
Dane Paterson was the pick of the bowlers with four for 78, including three wickets on what turned out to be the final morning. Tladi Bokako also shone with three for 94 – both men ending the game with seven wickets.
The Malan brothers then led a strong response with Pieter top-scoring by striking 87 (124 balls, 14 fours).
Janneman made 63 (83 balls, six fours, one six), while Zubayr Hamza finished the job with an unbeaten 39 that helped the Cobras solidify top spot after three rounds of the 2018-19 competition.
Titans 122 (Theunis de Bruyn 61, Shaun von Berg 22; Tladi Bokako 4-57, Dane Paterson 3-34, Jason Smith 2-21) & 408 (Theunis de Bruyn 147, Jonathan Vandiar 98, Tony de Zorzi 47, Henry Davids 42; Dane Paterson 4-78, Tladi Bokako 3-94, Dane Piedt 2-102)
Cape Cobras 337 (Jason Smith 92, David Bedingham 84, Kyle Verreynne 42; Alfred Mothoa 3-68, Shaun von Berg 4-70, Neil Brand 1-38) & 204-2 (Pieter Malan 87, Janneman Malan 63, Zubayr Hamza 39; Eldred Hawken 1-54, Junior Dala 1-55)
Cobras won by eight wickets
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gameplan Media