Wihan Lubbe’s first century of the season in his maiden appearance of the 2019-20 4-Day Domestic Series term helped the Lions end day one of their clash against the Titans with honours even in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The left-hander, one of the stars of the recently concluded Mzansi Super League, scored exactly 100 (137 balls, 18 fours, 1 six) as his team were bowled out on the stroke of stumps for 301 at the Wanderers.
There was also a brisk 63 (70 balls, 13 fours) by captain Nicky van den Bergh, but three wickets from another MSL 2.0 star, Tabraiz Shamsi (3/60), ensured that the visitors held their own in the Jukskei derby.
Time was also lost due to the weather during the early part of the afternoon – only 78.2 overs were eventually sent down with the match well-poised heading into day two.
The home side, currently the competition log leaders, won the toss and opted to bat first in the final match of the year.
They hit some early trouble, though, when Dominic Hendricks (0) and Joshua Richards (26) were dismissed in the opening hour.
Then came two important partnerships as Kagiso Rapulana (9) helped Lubbe add 63 for the third wicket, with the fourth wicket stand between the latter and Van den Bergh yielding 103.
The skipper fell to Alfred Mothoa, who also impressed with two for 42, leaving the Lions on 211 for five.
They struggled from there on as the last five wickets only managed to add 90 runs, that thanks in the main to Delano Potgieter (36), with the hosts all out in 78.2 overs.