van der Wath blows Dolphins away
Johan van der Wath took six second-innings wickets to help the Eagles to an emphatic innings and 29-run victory over the Dolphins at Durban. The Eagles victory was set-up by centuries from Loots Bosman (117) and Morne van Wyk (159) in their first-innings score of 575 for 8, with Jacques Rudolph, Nicky Boje and Ryan McLaren also scoring half-centuries. The Dolphins soon slumped to 42 for 4 in reply, with McLaren claiming three wickets, and despite a courageous 75 from Imraan Khan, they were eventually dismissed for 236, some 189 short of the follow-on target. Things did not get any better second time around, with with the pace of van der Wath to the fore, his 6 for 29 from 17 overs rolling the Dolphins for 210 just before lunch on the final day.
The Cobras managed just 87 in their second innings, going down by eight wickets to the Warriors at Newlands. In a low-scoring match - only 503 runs were scored in the four innings - Nantie Hayward proved the star turn for the Warriors, claiming two wickets in the first over of both the Cobras' first and second innings. While the Cobras recovered first-time around to post a respectable 164, Arno Jacobs' 50 in the Warriors 196 meant they conceded a 32-run first-innings deficit. Hayward then combined with Lonwabo Tsotsobe to reduce the Cobras to 7 for 4, and then 33 for 7 before they finally crawled to 87, with Tsotsobe finishing with 5 for 31 and Hayward 4 for 34. The Warriors were left needing just 56 runs for victory, and knocked it off with ease.
A fine all-round performance from Alfonso Thomas led the Titans to a seven-wicket victory over the Lions at Potchefstroom. Thomas took four first-innings wickets to help dismiss the Lions for 132, with Morne Morkel also taking four scalps. At one stage the Lions lost five wickets for five runs, slumping from 97 for 3 to 102 for 8. Thomas then starred with the bat, scoring 54, with Farhaan Behardien and Albie Morkel also scoring half-centuries to help the Titans to 282 and a first-innings lead of 150. The Titans rallied impressively to score 327 second-time around, with Blake Snijman and Werner Coetsee scoring half-centuries, but the damage had been done by their poor first-innings display. Martin van Jaarsveld comfortably guided his side to their 178-run target with an unbeaten 54.
Sam Collins is a freelance journalist based in London