• Morris sees Lions top table

    Chris Morris downed the Cobras, Marchant de Lange was too much for the Knights and the Dolphins and Warriors settled on a draw.

    Morris sees Lions top table

    Chris Morris’ four-wicket haul condemned the Cape Cobras to defeat at Newlands at the start of their Sunfoil Series defence – and lifted the Lions to the top of the table on Sunday.

    Morris returned figures of four for 35 as the Cobras were bowled out for just 117 in their second innings, to lose the match by a resounding 213 runs. The fast bowler finished with five wickets in the match, giving him 12 in two four-day games this season to confirm a welcome return to form after injury kept him out of action for the second part of the 2013-14 campaign.

    The Lions went into the final day on 166 for seven in their second innings, and added some quick runs as Morris extended his overnight score of 23 to 44 and Pumelela Matshikwe weighed in with 25 from just 34 balls. That carried the visitors to a total of 223 for nine declared to set the Cobras 331 to win with over two sessions to play.

    Left-arm spinner George Linde had taken four Lions wickets on the third evening, and he completed his five-wicket haul before the declaration when he dismissed Kagiso Rabada to finish with five for 84. The declaration left 10 overs before the lunch interval, and the Lions made full use of them in reducing the Cobras to 27 for four as Morris struck twice and Rabada and Dwaine Pretorius grabbed a wicket apiece.

    Rabada (two for 27) went on to pick up the wicket of Dane Vilas (25) after the break, while Morris dismissed Justin Ontong and Linde, who top-scored with 51. Eddie Leie (two for 25) cleaned up the tail as the Lions sealed victory in time for tea, clinching 17.3 points from the game as the Cobras took just 5.1. That put the Lions ahead of the Titans, who also won on Sunday, by 1.44 points at the top of the tabl

    De Lange sinks Knights

    Marchant de Lange put in his most convincing display since returning from injury to bowl the Titans to a 152-run victory over the Knights in Bloemfontein on Sunday.

    De Lange picked up five wickets on the final day to record figures of six for 108 as the Knights were bowled out for 396 in their chase of an unlikely 549. Pite van Biljon’s century and 68 from Obus Pienaar helped the Knights put up the highest score of the match in the fourth innings, but in the end they paid for a poor start to the game.

    The hosts went into the final day on 180 for three, with Rudi Second and Van Biljon entrenched on 76 and 73 respectively, but De Lange removed Second (80) in the third over of the day to make the crucial breakthrough. Van Biljon went on to his eighth first-class century and shared a 68-run stand with Pienaar to keep the Titans honest, before falling to the leg-spin of Shaun von Berg for 113.

    Pienaar was joined by Werner Coetsee for another lengthy partnership that ate up 19 overs and brought 68 runs, but the second new ball did the trick as Rowan Richards dismissed Pienaar to grab his third wicket of the innings and eighth of the match. De Lange went on to strike three times in three overs as the Knights finally folded, and impressively took only a brief break that incorporated a change of ends in the course of sending down 10 overs after the new ball was taken.

    The Titans now lie second on the table after picking up 19.32 points from their second win of the competition, while the Knights are third after earning 5.7.

    Dolphins and Warriors settle on draw

    Morne van Wyk held off an on-song Simon Harmer to ensure that the Dolphins drew their Sunfoil Series clash with the Warriors on the final day at the City Oval.

    Harmer took three wickets to keep the Warriors in the hunt for their first victory in the format this season, but Van Wyk’s unbeaten 41 meant that he and Colin Ingram shook on a draw with the Dolphins 145 for five. The off-spinner had already top-scored in the Warriors’ second innings, hitting 57 as the visitors posted 277 for nine declared and set the Dolphins a target of 261 in 45 overs.

    The final day began with the Warriors on 75 for two, leading by 58 runs, but they soon lost overnight batsmen Michael Price and Ryan Bailey to Craig Alexander (three for 71). With the middle-order folding, that disappointment turned into a full-on collapse that saw five wickets go down for 25 runs, leaving the Warriors 124 for seven.

    However, Harmer combined with Andrew Birch (43) in an 86-run stand that put the visitors back in control, and after both batsmen had fallen, Sisanda Magala’s unbeaten 42 set up the declaration. The real scare for the Dolphins came when they lost Imraan Khan and Vaughn van Jaarsveld to consecutive deliveries, and then had David Miller trapped lbw by Harmer three overs later.

    At 64 for four with almost 30 overs still to be played, a Warriors victory looked feasible until Khaya Zondo (45) joined Van Wyk in a 58-run stand that ate up almost 15 overs. Although Zondo was also dismissed by Harmer, Ryan McLaren dug in convincingly enough for the Warriors to settle for the draw with less than 10 overs scheduled to be bowled.

    While the Warriors took 7.92 points from the game and sit fourth on the table, the Dolphins earned 7.4 from their first four-day fixture of the season.