Sunfoil Series round-up: The Highveld Lions and the Titans are hammering the opposition in a battle for log honours.
Highveld Lions v Dolphins, Johannesburg
Stephen Cook continued his magnificent form in the Sunfoil Series by scoring his third successive hundred and putting the Highveld Lions in a dominant position against the Dolphins on day two on Friday.
The Lions wrapped up the Dolphins innings for 302 in short time on Friday morning, and Cook wasted no time in pushing the Lions on. His 122 helped his team to a score of 356-5 at the close.
The Lions, leading the log by nearly 16 points at the start of this round, know they need to keep up the pressure, and they may have been spurred by the news that the Titans were enforcing the follow-on against the Warriors and look set for a big points haul.
Cook shared an opening partnership of 54 with Rassie van der Dussen (29), and then added 124 with Alviro Petersen (68 off 90 balls, 10×4, 1×6).
There were substantial scores down the line: Temba Bavuma scored 51 from just 64 balls in a stand of 85 runs with Cook and after those two went, Dominic Hendricks and Chris Morris added an unbroken stand of 78. Cook’s 122 had come off 200 balls, with 11 fours.
Morris went to 52 off 64 balls, while Hendricks recorded a more measured 30 to set the Lions up for a considerable first-innings advantage.
Warriors v Titans, Port Elizabeth
Ethy Mbhalati took six wickets for 33 runs as the Warriors were bowled out for 148, chasing a Titanic total of 448, and being forced to follow on.
They managed to score nine without losing a wicket at the close, but they have a long two days ahead.
Resuming play at 337-5, the partnership of Roelof van der Merwe (100) and David Wiese (81) did not last long, with Sisanda Magala striking in successive ofvers. But Mangaliso Mosehle and Shaun von Berg contributed 39 apiece to see the Titans to a formidable total.
Playing just his fourth franchise game since November, Mbhalati then rammed home the Titans’ advantage as he got rid of both Michael Price and Jon-Jon Smuts in his fourth over. He then smashed through the middle order, ripping out four wickets in three overs as the hosts lost a total of five wickets for nine runs.
Knights v Cape Cobras, Kimberley
In a basement clash. the Cape Cobras seamers Dane Paterson and Travis Muller took three wickets apiece to restrict the Knights to a 10-run first-innings lead.
The Knights were poised for a reasonable advantage when they bowled the Cobras out for 294 and then reached 264 for six in reply, but Paterson pulled off a crucial run-out and then grabbed a brace of wickets to level the game.
Resuming play at 251-9, the Cobras can be grateful for a 10th-wicket partnership of 43 by Muller (51) and Paterson (27) which made the target at least respectable.
It looked promising for the Cobras, without a win in four matches, when Mulle, Beuran Hendricks and Paterson combined to put the Knights in trouble at 117 for five. But Pite van Biljon’s 55 pulled them back into the game and Werner Coetsee (74) and Van Schalkwyk (62) edged them in front.