SuperSport Series

Lions clinch tense nine-run win

Cricinfo staff

March 16, 2009

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Ashwell Prince leans into another drive, England v South Africa, 2nd Test, Headingley, July 19, 2008
Ashwell Prince: An aggregate of 296 runs in the match © Getty Images
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The Lions pulled off a tense nine-run win over the Eagles on the fourth day of their match in Johannesburg, their second of the season. The Lions bowled out the Eagles, chasing 190, for 180 an hour before tea. Boeta Dippenaar and CJ de Villiers added 49 for the ninth wicket but fell at the doorstep of victory - with ten to win, Cliffe Deacon and Craig Alexander took a wicket each in the space of four balls. Alexander finished with 4 for 28 in 11.3 overs and was well supported by Friedel de Wet (3 for 54). The second session had been tense, with the Eagles resuming on 124 for 7, with 66 still to get. Garnett Kruger got Charl Pietersen to edge one to the wicketkeeper Dane Vilas, who took his fifth catch. de Villiers raced to 35 off 40 balls before he was trapped lbw by Deacon to leave the Eagles 180 for 9. Then the match reached a crescendo.

It had been a low-scoring affair all throughout. The Lions were bowled out for 160 in their first innings, after which the Eagles took a seven-run lead. The Lions made 196, with Vaughn van Jaarsveld's 88 the only half-century. In the end, the tougher side won a thriller.

The Titans and Warriors played out a draw after bad light forced an early close on day four of their game at SuperSport Park. The Warriors were 84 for 3 in their second innings, leading by 101, when poor light intervened a half hour after tea. Earlier Heino Kuhn scored 203, moving from an overnight 182, as the Titans made 531 in their first innings, 17 short of the Warriors' first innings total of 548 for 6.Kuhn was the second double-centurion of the game after Ashwell Prince hit a record 254. Kuhn's epic innings spanned 550 minutes and he faced 395 balls while striking 25 fours and two sixes. Other notable contributions to the innings were Jacques Rudolph (53), AB de Villiers (64), and Farhaan Behardien (45). The highlight for the Warriors was Prince, who batted nine hours and 20 minutes for his highest first-class score, which included 28 boundaries and eight sixes. Prince was involved in five partnerships of 50 runs or more, including two century partnerships, with Mark Boucher (127) and with Johan Botha (116). Boucher and Botha both recorded half-centuries, while Prince was out after facing 356 balls when he drove Ethy Mbhalati to Morne Morkel at midwicket.

The Dolphins and Cobras also played out a draw on the fourth day in Pietermaritzburg. The Cobras were 300 for 2 in their second innings, a lead of 215, when the captains agreed to call the match off with an hour still remaining. The highlight of the day were centuries from Alistair Gray and Stiaan van Zyl, who put on 200 for the second wicket. Grey fell to the second new ball, edging left-arm seamer Yusuf Abdulla to second slip for 131, his second century of the season. Van Zyl progressed to his second first-class century in 272 minutes off 191 balls with 13 fours and finished unbeaten on 103. Play was delayed during the morning session for just over a half hour because of bad light and the Cobras eventually resumed their second innings on 35 for 0 trailing the Dolphins by 50 runs. Andrew Puttick fell for 25 but Gray and Van Zyl then ensured that the Cobras wiped out the deficit. It was a better display then their first innings, in which only Henry Davids (113) and Ryan Canning (55) got going as Adbulla took five wickets to keep the Cobras to 281. The Dolphins' innings owed plenty to the opener Imraan Khan, set to make his debut for the South Africa in the third test against Australia on March 19, who scored 145. It was the only century of the innings as JP Duminy picked up 5 for 108.

The result means that both the Dolphins and Cobras have yet to win a game in this year's SuperSport Series.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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