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September 23, 2012
Cape Cobras made a strong start to the season by completing a commanding 10-wicket win over Lions in their domestic season opener in Potchefstroom. Cobras racked up a mammoth 543 in the first innings the foundation of which was laid by a 188-run opening stand between Andrew Puttick and Alistair Gray. Puttick went to score 194 making sure that a good start wasn't wasted. An unbeaten 97 by wicketkeeper Dane Vilas then took the Cobras past 500. Imran Tahir, with 5 for 176, was the most successful bowler for Lions.
In reply, Lions made a good start to put up 125 for 1, but the batsmen failed to build on the starts and Lions were forced to follow on as the innings collapsed on 210. In Lions' second innings, Quinton de Kock matched the effort of Cobras top-scorer with 194 runs and received some support from Neil McKenzie, who scored 51. But de Kock fell to the offspin for Dale Piedt, who went on to pick up his fifth five-wicket haul. Lions' second innings folded on 339, giving Cobras a target of seven runs which they achieved without any loss.
Knights and Titans played out a draw at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley, but Knights picked up more points after gaining a substantial first-innings lead. After choosing to bat, Knights recovered from a precarious position at 59 for 4 to post a formidable 455. This was made possible by a 259-run fifth-wicket stand between Ryan Bailey, who achieved a career-best of 220, and captain Morne van Wyk, who made 133. Seamer Ethy Mbhalati picked up 6 for 98, his best first-class figures.
In their response, Titans conceded a lead of 155. Three of their batsmen - Jacques Rudolph, Heino Kuhn and Roelof van der Merwe - scored half-centuries but none was able to push on. The innings wickets were shared by seamers Ryan McLaren and Quinton Friend, both bagging a five-for.
The Knights pushed the lead past 400 in their second innings, opener Reeza Hendricks making 53 and Obus Pienaar top-scoring with 80. The innings folded for 246, with Mbhalati picking five more to finish with 11 in the match. Titans were given in excess of 40 overs to battle in the fourth innings. They played out 46, finishing with 159 for 4 and settling for the draw.
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