January 27, 2001

Bacher hits 190 to ease Strikers to slim lead

Grant Shimmin - MWP

Stand-in captain Adam Bacher provided the highlight of this fairly pointless three-day encounter on day two, hitting 190 as the Highveld Strikers grabbed a 30-run first innings lead over KwaZulu-Natal, who were 31 without loss in their second knock at the close, just a single ahead.

Bacher, who shared in a 165-run first-wicket partnership with Sven Koenig (78), was a tower of strength for the Strikers as they surged past the Dolphins' 303 all out, anchoring the innings superbly after Koenig's dismissal, bowled by Gary Gilder, had sparked a mini-collapse in which three more wickets fell for the addition of just 22.

Having scored his tenth first-class century off 225 balls, in eight minutes short of five hours, he upped the tempo in fine style, scoring at better than a run a ball for the remainder of his innings, although the proportion of boundaries was fairly similar. Having hit 15 fours in getting to three figures, Bacher hit 12 more, along with two sixes, in reaching his eventual score.

He was eventually out in the last over available to his side, caught by opposing skipper Dale Benkenstein at point as he tried to cut Wade Wingfield to the boundary in pursuit of his double century. His dismissal brought the Strikers' declaration at 333 for six.

Aside from the first-wicket partnership with Koenig, Bacher shared in stands of 83 for the fifth with Zander de Bruyn, of which the latter contributed a pedestrian 19 off 63 balls, and 63 off just 59 balls with Andrew Hall, who finished unbeaten on 29.

Dolphins openers Mark Bruyns and Doug Watson showed some positive intent in the 10 overs they faced before the close, finishing on 12 and 19 respectively.