Dwaine Pretorius battled to a well-earned century and played a starring role in stopping the Cobras registering their first win of the Sunfoil Series in Paarl on Sunday.
The Lions paceman went to his third first-class hundred in 25 matches off 177 balls, compiled over fours hours, when he was trapped lbw by Robin Peterson, the five-wicket hero of the first innings. But with his 101, he had done enough to enable the last-wicket pair of Aaron Phangiso (16) and Eddie Leie (1) to hold out for 14 overs and thwart the Cobras.
It will be a bitter disappointment for the Cape side, who looked well set for victory after two humiliating defeats. They had run up a first-innings total of 570 and then forced the Lions to follow on 318 behind.
When Pretorius went, at 278-8 with 15 overs remaining, the Lions chances of saving the game looked slim, for Peterson added the wicket of Pumelela Matshikwe (0) in the same over. Earlier he had snapped up Dominic Hendricks (10) and Hardus Viljoen (1).
It was not as dramatic as his performance in the first innings when he took five wickets for eight runs in 3.3 overs, but effective nonetheless, until Phangiso and Leie, both spinners, put up very effective shutters.
The Lions had resumed on 83-3, with Van der Dussen on 41 alongside Shaylen Pillay on 7. They resisted for 26 overs, at which point Van der Dussen was lbw to Juston Ontong, having advanced to 72 off 196 balls in a study of concentration and application. As did Shaylen Pillay (26 off 200) and Nicky van den Bergh (28 off 135). Mind you, the Lions had a point to prove after losing eight wickets for 17 runs in the first innings.
Van den Bergh and Pretorius put on 112 for the sixth wicket, when Tshepo Moreki broke through, but Pretorius ploughed on, looking positively cavalier at a strike rate of 57.
The Cobras’ nine points from this match enabled them to climb off the bottom of the log on 15.04, marginally ahead of the Warriors (14.44).
Four days of bad weather and bad light in Pietermaritzburg forced the match between the Dolphins and Warriors to be abandoned without a ball being bowled. Both teams collected five points.