No less than 18 wickets fell on day one of the Sunfoil Series opener between the Highveld Lions and the Cape Cobras.
Despite struggling on 141-8, the Lions will actually take quite a useful advantage over a troubled Cobras side going into day two of their opening Sunfoil Series clash at the Wanderers, thanks almost entirely to the gritty determination of Temba Bavuma, who has taken his excellent one-day form through to the four-day game.
The Cape-based side, embroiled in drama leading up to this season with a number of their players unhappy with the board’s decision to keep Paul Adams as their coach, were trounced for 102 all out, with a flashy 29 from Zubayr Hamza the only positive they could glean from the innings. There were three wickets apiece for Sean Jamison and 18-year-old debutant and rising talent Wiaan Mulder.
The hosts didn’t do much better, and the Cobras could even have boasted a first-innings lead if it weren’t for the efforts of Bavuma, who struck 63 not out to drag his side along to a 39-run lead. Jason Smith proved his all-rounder credentials with a brilliant 4-24.
The Dolphins were the best performers on the day, and it could have been much better if it weren’t for a couple of late wickets. A century from Daryn Smith and 90 from Vaughn van Jaarsveld took them to 281-5 at the close of play against the Warriors, with Andrew Birch and Basheeru Walters taking two wickets apiece.
The defending champions the Titans meanwhile, playing in their first match under the guidance of Mark Boucher, were bowled out for 287 late on in the day against the Knights, thanks largely to a 145-run stand between Heinrich Klaasen (82) and David Wiese (77). The bowler of the day honours undoubtedly went to Duanne Olivier, who followed up his excellent campaign last season with figures of 6-60.