The Cape Cobras collapsed to an innings defeat in the first home Sunfoil match of the season after Duanne Olivier smashed the top order on day three on Saturday.
The Cobras were always in trouble after the Knights built themselves a fortress, piling up 491-9, based on a century from Werner Coetsee. He started the day on 45, alongside Tumelo Bodibe, who went on from 51 to 66 on Saturday morning. Even No 9 batsman Dillon du Preez joined the fifties club, racing to 51 off 59 balls, the sixth batsman to pass the mark in this innings.
Coetsee notched up just his seventh first-class hundred in his 109th match, with 10 fours off 179 balls in a well-paced innings which yielded 103, when he was undone by JP Duminy’ spin as he top-edged a sweep to short fine-leg.
With a deficit of 345, all the Cobras could do was attack, which brought its own problems. Andrew Puttick went for three, followed in short order by Stiaan van Zyl (21), Hasham Amla (23) and Duminy (27); all Proteas players in desperate need of time in the middle. Olivier took the first three wickets, boasting figures of 3-20 off 3.1 overs. Van Zyl and Amla both claimed strike rates of over 100, but little good it did the Cobras.
It was left to Keegan Petersen (54) and Mthokozisi Shezi (50) to show that building an innings was not impossible, but they were solitary examples amid disappointing application. Olivier ended with 4-88 off 14, while Michael Erlank cleaned up the tail to take 3-32 as teh Cobras went down by an innings and 102 runs.
The Warriors gave themselves a fighting chance when they bowled out the Titans for 171 in their second innings, giving themselves a target of 332 for a victory which looked unlikely when they were dismissed for 209 on Friday and started day three 169 behind. It looked even more remote when the Titans were 80-2 in the second innings.
Then Ayabulela Gqamane trapped Henry Davids (17) lbw and the following ball castled Farhaan Behardien, putting the Titans at 80-4 and beginning a slide which was resisted only by Theunis de Bruyn (48).
At the close, the Warriors were 126-3, thanks to Colin Ackermann (45) and Yaseen Vallie (42). But both are gone, leaving the game poised on a knife-edge, needing another 206.
The Lions have put themselves into a position from which they are unlikley to lose, piling up 316-8 dec for their second innings and offering the Dolphins a target of 390 to win. It will be more a test of the Dolphins’ staying power than a run-chase.
The Lions have rebounded superbly from their mediocre offering of 214 in their first innings; first by bowling out the Dolphins for 141 and building a formidable lead, based on Rassie van der Dussen’s 98. His 10th first-class hundred was scuppered by Calvin Savage, who pinned him back in the crease and gained the lbw decision.
It’s been a good display by Savage, who took five wickets in the first innings and added 3-72 in the second, as it was for Matthew Pillans, who picked up four in each innings.
But despite their efforts, Devon Conway (40), Alviro Petersen (54) and Nicky van den Bergh (63) all made substantial contributions. When bad light stopped play, the Dolphins were 28-1, still 362 behind.