The Lions secured a five-wicket victory over the Knights in Bloemfontein to keep their 4-Day Franchise Series title race against the Cobras alive, while the Warriors and Dolphins played out to a draw in East London.
Knights vs Lions
An unbeaten 49 by Dominic Hendricks guided the Lions to a priceless five-wicket win over the Knights on the final day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Bloemfontein on Thursday. The innings by the left-hander proved to be a critical one in a low-scoring chase of 76, reaching their target in 26 overs after the title-chasing visitors slumped to 55-5.
None of his teammates managed to reach double figures, but Hendricks’ effort proved enough to guide his side to a victory that kept them alive and kicking in the trophy race.
The Knights began the morning precariously placed on 95-5 and still trailing by 38 runs. But 70 off 101 balls (12×4) from Andries Gous and 45 off 89 balls (5×4) from Romano Terblanche helped them more than double that score to 208 all out.
Nono Pongolo ended as the pick of the bowlers with 4-49 in 18 overs ,and that left the Lions needing 76 runs to win, but they made heavy weather of it thanks to a four-wicket burst by Jacques Snyman (4-24).
Hendricks and Wiaan Mulder (8 not out) then took them over the line, keeping the pressure on the Cobras at the summit. With one round to go, they are a little more than three points behind leaders the Cobras, with the Warriors’ draw against the Dolphins ending their interest in the 2018-19 title.
Knights 357 (KD Petersen 71, R van Tonder 70, TG Mokoena 46, GJ Snyman 33, RK Terblanche 37, AGS Gous 45, PJ van Biljon 21; BC Fortuin 7-70, MP Siboto 2-62) & 208 (AGS Gous 70, RK Terblanche 45, PJ van Biljon 24; Z Pongolo 4-49, PWA Mulder 2-17, N Burger 2-36)
Lions 490 (PWA Mulder 146, K Rapulana 135, Z Pongolo 52, SC Cook 49, T Bavuma 30, BC Fortuin 28; PE Kruger 5-60, T Ntuli 2-110, RK Terblanche 1-60, CA Dry 1-69) & 76-5 (DA Hendricks 49 not out; GJ Snyman 4-24)
Lions won by 5 wickets
Warriors vs Dolphins
Following a significant delay on the final day of their CSA 4-Day Franchise Series clash with the Warriors in East London, the Dolphins made a strong push for a result, but the weather prevented an exciting finish, with a draw being the eventual outcome.
Play on the final day only got under way after the lunch break, bad light playing havoc with the day’s action.
The Warriors had one wicket in hand, but decided that they would declare without facing a ball on Thursday, leaving the Dolphins with 275 runs to get off 52 overs.
Sarel Erwee was the first wicket to fall with the score on 11. Debutant Michael Erlank scored 10 off 21 balls (2×4) before he was dismissed with the score on 30-2. Marques Ackerman was in a dominant mood, and alongside Dolphins captain Khaya Zondo put on 61 runs for the third wicket in just over eight overs before Zondo was dismissed for 17.
Ackerman went to 50 off only 46 deliveries, with Sibonelo Makhanya at the other end. The young left-hander continued to dominate the bowling before being dismissed by Glenton Stuurman for 77 off 71 balls (13×4, 1×6) with the score on 124.
Makhanya continued the attack and was unbeaten on 41 off 42 balls (8×4, 1×6) alongside Grant Roelofsen (11 off 9 balls, 2×4) when play stopped again due to bad light. The Dolphins were 104 runs shy with 22 overs left in the day and five wickets in hand, but unfortunately for both sides they didn’t get back on to the field and the game ended in a draw.
Warriors 436-7 decl` (EM Moore 102, MY Vallie 110, S Qeshile 75, MP Breetzke 58, LC Ngoepe 39, SSB Magala 26 not out; E Bosch 2-74, KJ Dudgeon 2-70, P Subrayen 2-109) & 163-9 decl (S Qeshile 45, LC Ngoepe 34, MY Vallie 23, JT Smuts 20; E Bosch 4-36, MN Erlank 2-26)
Dolphins 325 (MJ Ackerman 84, SJ Erwee 66, S Muthusamy 46, E Bosch 26, G Roelofsen 24, P Subrayen 20; JT Smuts 3-34, GA Stuurman 3-49, TP Kaber 3-113, BD Walters 1-51) & 171-5 (MJ Ackerman 77, BS Makhanya 41 not out, G Roelofsen 11 not out; BD Walters 2-35, GA Stuurman 2-48)
Cape Cobras vs Titans
The Cobras wrapped up their victory over the Titans on day three of their clash with the Titans. Cape Cobras captain Dane Piedt took seven for 66 in the Titans’ second innings to bowl the defending champions out for 151 after recording a first innings haul of six for 75. It gave the spinner career-best match-figures of 13 for 141, surpassing the Cobras’ previous best of 12 for 105 by Wayne Parnell against the Dolphins at Cape Town in 2015-16.
Piedt also charged past 50 wickets for the season, with his new tally of 52 putting him streets ahead of the chasing pack. Victory saw the home side move to 171,46 points at the top of the table, although their 25-plus points looked certain to be reduced by the end of the round on Thursday. However, the Cobras did all that was asked of them in their penultimate fixture at the Recreation Ground this week.
They started day three on 299 for five and managed to add 76 for the final five wickets, Jason Smith scoring 48. Sixty-eight of those runs came from the sixth-wicket stand between the all-rounder and Ferisco Adams, who managed 27 runs off his bat. Once the stand had been broken with the score on 260, all of the Cobras’ five remaining first-innings wickets fell for just 15 runs. Among those was star opener Pieter Malan, who had retired hurt on 95 (184 balls, 12×4) earlier in his innings, but on his return he lasted three more balls without troubling the scorers.
The pick of the bowlers was Shaun von Berg with four for 137 as the Cape side were bowled out for 375, a lead of exactly 100. The Titans’ second innings lasted just 65.1 overs as Piedt made merry, his seven wickets including that of top-scorer Andrea Agathangelou (84 off 181 balls, 10×4, 2×6).
Farhaan Behardien (24) was the only other man to reach the 20s, with the visiting side continuing their inconsistencies with the bat this season. Apart from Piedt, the Cobras’ other spinner, George Linde, ended with two for 45 as the Titans were bundled out for 151, leaving the Cobras with a victory target of just 52 runs in their second innings.
Debutant Leus du Plooy (2-29) struck twice as Malan was given a break from opening the batting due to his injury, but Zubayr Hamza (26) and David Bedingham (16) guided their side to a vital win.
Titans 275 (JL du Plooy 97 not out, H Davids 47, S von Berg 30, AP Agathangelou 29, VB Mahlangu 23; DL Piedt 6-75, GF Linde 3-88) & 151 (AP Agathangelou 84, F Behardien 24; DL Piedt 7-66, GF Linde 2-45)
Cape Cobras 375 (PJ Malan 95, SM Khomari 77, JF Smith 48, DG Bedingham 41, Zubayr Hamza 28, FD Adams 27, GF Linde 21; S von Berg 4-137, M Arnold 3-62, SA Mothoa 1-45, JL du Plooy 1-48) & 52-2 (Zubayr Hamza 26 not out)
Cape Cobras won by 8 wickets
The latest 4-Day Franchise Series table
Photo: Cricket South Africa