SuperSport Series, 2004-05 March 3, 2005

Bacher bounces back to form

Titans 178 (Myburgh 60, du Preez 4-46) lead Eagles 82 for 3 (Jacobs 48*, Steyn 3-34) by 96 runs

After a break of a month, the SuperSport series resumed with the Eagles bowling the Titans out for 178 in 61 overs after winning the toss at Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein. When bad light ended play early on the first day, the Eagles had moved along to 82 for the loss of three wickets.

Johannes van der Wath and Dillon du Preez, making his first-class debut for the Eagles, caused the early damage as the Titans struggled to recover from a weak start. Wickets fell at regular intervals with Johann Myburgh, 60, and Andre Nel, 36 not out, the only two batsmen able to contain the rampant Eagles bowlers. They added 49 for the eighth wicket while du Preez finished with 4 for 46.

Jonathan Beukus and Davey Jacobs gave the Eagles innings a brisk start by putting on 53 in 13 overs before Dale Steyn bowled Beukes for 21. Jacobs continued with his normal aggression, but Steyn's fiery spell grabbed him two more wickets, those of Boeta Dippenaar and Ryan Bailey.

With Jacobs having just struck two consecutive boundaries, it was something of a surprise when the umpires offered the light to the Eagles. But Morne van Wyk had only just arrived at the crease so they accepted, finishing on 82 for 3 with Jacobs not out on 48.

Lions 300 for 2 (Bacher 140*, Motaung 80) v Dolphins

Adam Bacher made light of his one-day disappointment against Zimbabwe to continue his fine domestic form, as the Lions took full advantage of winning the toss on a batting paradise at the Wanderers. They closed on 300 for 2 after the first day of their match against the Dolphins, with Bacher himself unbeaten on 140.

He added 178 with William Motaung as the Dolphins bowlers struggled on a lifeless pitch. Motaung was first to go as he edged to the keeper Duncan Brown for 80 off the bowling of Ugasen Govender, who was making his first appearance for the Dolphins. The same pair then got rid of Justin Ontong for 41 after a second-wicket partnership of 93.

Bacher, on 140, and Neil McKenzie, on 14, will continue for the Lions when play starts on day two.

Western Province Boland 305 for 5 (Puttick 141*, Tsolekile 72) v Warriors

The Warriors will regret asking Western Province Boland to bat first on a good-looking pitch at Mercedes Park in East London, as WPBOL closed on 305 for 5.

Derrin Bassage and Andrew Puttick started the proceedings with an opening partnership of 64, which was eventually broken by Tyron Henderson, who had Bassage caught behind for 31. Two more wickets fell in quick succession to bring Thami Tsolekile out to join Puttick, who took the score to 213 before Brent Kops trapped Tsolekile lbw for an excellent 72.

The day belonged to Puttick as he batted through to the close for a magnificent 141 that included 19 fours and a six. He will start day two alongside Vernon Philander, who was not out on 24.