Sunfoil Series round-up: Titans in control, Lions fight back and the Cobras are pinned to the floor
Warriors v Titans, Port Elizabeth
The Titans, just 16 points behind log leaders the Lions at the start of this match, put themselves into a strong position at 337-5 on the first day against the Warriors. They batted well down the line, with Heino Kuhn (41) and Theunis de Bruyn (78) making significant contributions in the top order. But it was an unbroken stand of 106 between Roelof van der Merwe and David Wiese which gave Titans control of the match.
The pair came together with honours even at 231 for five and not only provided stability and saw off the second new ball, but also scored their runs at 3.6 per over to wrestle the initiative away from the hosts. In a one-day mood towards the end, they whacked 47 runs off the last 10 overs of the day
Van der Merwe ended the day on 83 having extended his lead at the top of the competition’s run-scoring charts, while Wiese was 66.
Lions v Dolphins, Johannesburg
A stand of 204 between Cody Chetty (106) and Daryn Smit (60) underpinned the Dolphins’ total 289-8 in Johannesburg. They were looking good for a dominating score when they stood at 257-3, but then Kagiso Rabada and Hardus Viljoen got to work.
They were helped by an injury to Smit, which saw him retire, and by the unusual dismissal of Imraan Kahn (29) who was dismissed ‘handled ball’ and which left the Dolphins at 53-3.
Chetty was bowled by Rabada, having slammed 17 fours off 195 balls which sparked a collapse which saw five wickets go down for 22 runs.
Rabada had earlier made his presence felt when he dismissed Divan van Wyk and Daniel Sincuba in the space of five balls. He ended with 4-65, with Viljoen close behind on 3-48.
Knights v Cape Cobras, Kimberley
Andrew Puttick stood defiant as the Cobras collapsed around him, scoring 100 of the Cobras first day’s total of 251-9. It had seemed so promising at the start, with Richard Levi (23) and Stiaan van Zyl (34) putting on 50 in the opening stand. But then Shadley van Schalkwyk’s accurate medium-pace removed both within two overs and started a slide which only Puttick resisted. He went on to his 23rd first-class century off 198 balls, with 11 fours, but no one was able to stay with him as Malusi Siboto ran through the middle order, finishing the day with 3-38 off 20 overs with help from Duanne Olivier (2-60), and Werner Coetsee’s spin (2-55).
The Cobras went into the s match without regular captain Justin Ontong, Dane Vilas and Rory Kleinveldt (all to paternal domestic duties), Justin Kemp and Mthokozisi Shezi (injured).