The Knights’ reserve bowlers stepped up to the plate to put pressure on the Highveld Lions in the Sunfoil Series match in Kimberley on Thursday.
The home team have been hit by an injury crisis which has deprived them of Dillon du Preez, Shadley van Schalkwyk and Corne Dry, and it didn’t help their cause when Quinton Friend was suspended for being rude during match.
But Tumi Masekela, particularly, responded to the challenge, taking 4-34, including the resolute opener Stephen Cook (76) and Dominick Hendricks, who put down an anchor to score 80 off 185 balls (10×4 1×6).
Apart from Nicky van den Bergh (34), no one else stayed long enough to build an innings, or a partnership, as the Lions closed the day at 244-7.
Considering they had been 127-2, the loss of five wickets for 117 runs gives the Knights the bragging rights on day one.
The Dolphins. left high and dry by wet weather which washed out their match against the Warriors last week, made up for lost time by running up a formidable 357 in just under 92 overs: a run rate of 3.85.
The Titans might have been uplifted when Divan van Wyk went in the first over, but the top order strung together some useful partnerships, led by Imraan Khan (83), Daryn Smit (85) and Khaya Zondo (65).
After that initial strike, Marchant de Lange had to work hard to take another two wickets for 79 runs, while Ethy Mbhalati produced another fine display to take 4-48 off 20 overs. He grabbed 5-29 in bowling out the Knights for 76 last week – a match which the Titans bizarrely went on to lose.
Justin Ontong was left 10 short of a fighting hundred when bad light ended play early with the Cape Cobras on 224-5 against the Warriors at St George’s Park. It was a sterling effort, coming off 170 balls (10×4, 1×6) as all ar0und him came and went with varying degrees of efficiency.
Having elected to bat, the Cobras were soon in trouble at 45-2. The seamers had kept the openers quiet for 12 overs, when Simon Harmer was brought on, and his offspin immediately accounted for Simon Khomari (8) and, seven overs later, for Andrew Puttick (33).
Ontong and Omphile Ramela put on 69 for the third wicket when Sisanda Magala had Ramela caught behind for 32. Harmer returned to dismiss the dangerous Richard Levi, whose 22 off 22 balls typically contained five fours. Keegan Petersen followed soon after for 16.
Dane Piedt, released from Proteas, was at the crease with Ontong, on 11.