Shaun von Berg’s 5-88 and Robin Peterson’s 6-71 highlighted day-one action in the Sunfoil Series on Thursday.
The winless Cobras continued to disappoint at Newlands against the defending champions Titans, losing three wickets for 49 runs after being put in to bat. David Wiese removed Omphile Ramela and Andrew Puttick early on, the pair failing to repeat the centuries they achieved in their side’s last outing.
Youngsters Zubayr Hamza and Jason Smith did not hang around long: Junior Dala showing some dangerous pace to pick up Hamza and Von Berg getting the first of five wickets by dismissing Smith a couple of overs later.
Stiaan van Zyl (65) did well with Justin Ontong (45) to put on a 92-run fifth-wicket partnership, which was ended by Von Berg dismissing Ontong. The spinner added Dane Piedt to his tally, shortly after Van Zyl fell to Henry Davids.
Rory Kleinveldt, coming off a successful stint for Northamptonshire, could not replicate his county form in his first game back for the Cobras, as he became Von Berg’s fourth victim. The legbreaker ended the Cobras’ innings by dismissing Dane Paterson; the hosts ending their innings on 235 off 74 overs.
Titans put 33 runs on the board before the fall of the first wicket, Kleinveldt picking up the important wicket of Heino Kuhn. Partnered by Grant Mokoena (39), Aiden Markram looked in fine form at stumps, the 22-year-old posting 58 as the Titans will resume day two with 108 on the board and a deficit of 127.
Elsewhere, an early wicket from Sisanda Magala put the Lions on the front foot against the Warriors. With just six runs on the board after five overs, Magala removed Reeza Hendricks, who chased a wide delivery, nicking it to the keeper Clyde Fortuin. Rassie van der Dussen looked like he was up for the challenge to get the scoreboard ticking over, but he managed only 28 before Tladi Bokako picked up his wicket.
Dominic Hendricks fell when the Lions had put 71 runs on the board, and SA U19 World Cup winner Yaseen Valli fell a few overs later for Magala’s second. Nicky van den Bergh and Dwaine Pretorius did well to steady the ship, the pair putting on a 180-run partnership as the Lions trotted past the 250 mark. Van den Bergh and Pretorius were both unlucky to fall short just before their centuries, Simon Harmer dismissing both batsmen, as yet another spinner starred for his side.
The pick of the bowlers for the Warriors was Andrew Birch, the medium-fast bowler ending with 3-56, dismissing wonder-kid Wiaan Mulder towards the close of play, the Lions ending day one on 302-8.
The Dolphins, after experiencing their first loss of the competition to the Titans last week, started off well against the impressive Knights, who top the standings, as Sarel Erwee and Imraan Khan put on a century partnership before lunch.
Erwee (58) lost his wicket shortly after, followed by Daryn Smit off successive balls from Robin Peterson as the Knights started to find some momentum. Dillon du Preez increased the pressure by bowling Khan on 59.
Spin seemed to be the order of the day, as another two in-form batsmen fell to Peterson, the ex-Protea taking his tally to four after the dismissal of Khaya Zondo (6) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (38). He continued his good form picking up another two wickets, ending the day on 6-71 after 20 overs. With Mthokozisi Shezi (14) and Proteas star Imran Tahir (3) at the crease, the Dolphins will resume day two on 285-9.
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images