Rory Kleinveldt took four wickets for 13 runs as the Cobras found their mojo against the Warriors in their Sunfoil Series match in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Mind you, the Cobras have the Lions’ superb defensive effort, which deprived them of victory last time out, to remind them that it ain’t over ’til the last ball is bowled.
But they are in control, having bowled out the Warriors for 129 in 33 overs, and then going on to 116-7 in their second innings. That is pretty poor in itself, but having knocked up 325 in their first innings, they have a lead of 312 on a wicket which is not getting any easier. A total of 22 wickets went down on day two.
It has been a day of contrasting fortunes. Simon Harmer went on to finish off the Cobras from their overnight position of 224-5, ending up with 8-60, his best innings figures which previously stood at 8-72.
Then paceman Kleinveldt and offspinner Dane Piedt got to work on the Warriors line-up, taking four wickets apiece, which shows what a weird wicket it was. Kleinveldt destroyed the top order, his four wickets from four overs helping to put the Warriors at 5-18 after seven overs.
The hapless hosts owe their total to the resilience of their No 10 batsman Ayabulela Gqamane, whose unbeaten 37 was the outstanding score of the day.
Sisanda Magala (3-23) and Basheeru-Deen Walters (2-17) did the damage to Cobras in the second innings, but they are going to need something special to come out of this one.
It was a similarly strange match in Kimberley, where the Knights fought back from 5-52 to a vaguely competitive total of 221, still 43 behind the Highveld Lions‘ first offering of 264. Tumi Masekela cleaned up the Lions tail on Friday morning to end with 7-38, his best innings return.
Dwaine Pretorius (3-35) and Sean Jamison (3-62) were the spearhead of the Lions’ attack, but they were thwarted by a rearguard action led by Luthando Mnaynda (46), followed by Werner Coetsee (36), Malusi Siboto (32) and Jandre Coetzee (42).
The Lions were 18-0 when play closed early, a lead of 61.
An interesting situation is developing at Benoni, where the Titans are 267-2 in reply to the Dolphins’ 357.
Heino Kuhn registered his 17th first-class hundred after putting on 181 with Grant Mokoena (75) for the first wicket. Both were undone by the left-arm spin of Keshav Maharaj, but Theunis de Bruyn looks to picked up the standard, on 43 at the end of the day.
The Titans will obviously look to build a decent lead to attack the Dolphins once again.