The Highveld Lions have taken a commanding position in defence of their Sunfoil title, leading the Dolphins by 127 runs at the Wanderers on Friday.
They owe their position to their fast bowling attack of Dwaine Pretorius and Hardus Viljoen, who took four wickets apiece in demolishing the Dolphins for 141 in 52 overs on Thursday.
And that total was achieved only through the efforts of David Miller (62) and Calvin Savage (44). Only one other batsman, Divan van Wyk, made into double figures with 13. The Dolphins could not even call on Mr Extras to help, for such was the Lions’ control that only one no-ball was bowled and only four runs came off byes.
Miller came in when the Dolphins, who had done well to dismiss the Lions for 214 in the morning, were struggling on 4-23, and a further two wickets fell before Savage joined him to put a stop to the rot. They added 89 for the seventh wicket, when Savage was trapped lbw by Pretorius. Miller fell soon after, having resisted 123 balls and striking eight fours, and the Dolphins slid into ignominy.
Viljoen started the demolition with the wickets of Van Wyk and Cody Chetty in successive ball in the seventh over, ending with 4-44, while Pretorius was even more miserly, taking 4-37 in 16.2 overs.
The Lions then ploughed on to 54 for the loss of Dominic Hendricks (8), the sixth wicket for Savage in the match
The Knights turned the screw on the Cape Cobras, who were bowled out for a pathetic 146 on day one.
The Knights resumed play on 59-1, and everyone came to the party. If you want to be churlish, you could point to the fact that no batsman kicked on to a big score, but that becomes irrelevant when there were fifties for Letlotlo Sesele (66), Diego Rosier (61), Pite van Biljon (53) Tumelo Bodibe (53 not out). Werner Coetsee was with him on 45 at the close.
They ended the day on 346-5, 200 runs ahead and building an almost insurmountable mountain for the Cobras.
It was a similar situation in Centurion, where the Warriors were battling to stay in touch with the Titans, being bowled out for 209 shortly before the close in reply to the Titans’ first-innings offering of 369.
The Titans, who had been 30-3, had resumed play on Friday on 251-4, with Farhaan Behardien on 78 and Grant Mokoena on 19. Behardien added just one more run, but Mokoena went on to 46, ably supported by David Wiese (48). A quick 24 off 15 balls from Rowan Richards put the Titans in a healthy position.
The Warriors were 81-7 at one stage, before Clyde Fortuin (72) and Sisanda Magala (40) dug in, putting on 86 for the eighth wicket and giving the Warriors some hope. But they then folded to 209, a deficit of 160 which had grown to 169 by the close of play .