Rassie van der Dussen led the way with a excellent 135 as the Highveld Lions attempted to make up lost ground against the Dolphins in the Sunfoil Series.Having been well beaten by the Knights last time out, they began this round almost eight points shy of the Titans in the race to the title and obviously had an eye on the bonus points. By the end of the day, they had run up 317-3.
Electing to bat, they set off a great pace, putting on 151 runs in 37 overs, at which point Stephen Cook fell for a lively 70 off 125 balls (11×4), bowled by Keshav Maharaj. Dominic Hendricks picked up the baton and the two forged on to 245, when Maharaj struck again, dismissing Van der Dussen for 135, which included 16 fours and a six.
Hendricks was unbeaten at the end of the day on 69, while Maharaj picked up a third wicket in Alviro Petersen for 29.
Seven wickets from the left-arm spin of Tabraiz Shamsi put the front-running Titans in a good position after they bowled out the basement Warriors for 282 in Port Elizabeth. And that was after a century from Somila Seyibokwe, his third in first-class cricket, and a fighting 67 from Kelly Smuts.
They put on 151 for the fifth wicket and for a while the Warriors could believe they would post a decent total. But Shamsi, who had got into the swing by dismissing Yaseen Vallie (28), then broke that partnership and crushed the rest of the line-up. Only 47 runs were added after the fifth wicket fell. Matchant de Lange and Ethy Mbhalati had set the tone by taking the first three wickets for 38 runs.
But by the close, the Titans had lost a bit of momentum, surrendering three wicket for 78 runs.
In Bloemfontein, the Cobras laboured their way to 293-7 off 96 overs against the Knights, who still have a vague interest in the race, starting the day almost four points behind the Lions.
The Knights kept chipping away at the Cobras line, interrupting any partnership that was starting to build.
Dane Vilas, at 6, made a mighty effort, remaining unbeaten at the close on 131, after only Omphile Ramela’s 31 before him had made any meaningful impact. Vilas got good support from Dane Piedt, who scored 44 in a partnership of 132 for the seventh wicket.