Sunfoil series 2015-16, 4th day March 12, 2016

Dolphins nearly hunt down 354, but bad light leads to draw

ESPNcricinfo staff

Andile Phehlukwayo's power-packed 40 nearly helped Dolphins overhaul a fourth-innings chase of 354 © BCCI

Bad light curtailed a thrilling chase at Kingsmead, where Dolphins fell 18 runs short of a mammoth target of 354. The evening's events seemed highly unlikely when they were reduced to 2 for 1 at lunch, but out came Vaughn van Jaarsveld and took control with a measured century. He took the side to tea at 149 for 1. But Titans wouldn't have been too worried. The required rate was still above eight an over and they had dismissed Jonathan Vandiar, who had chipped in with 69, and Khaya Zondo for a duck. Even with wickets in hand, 141 off 102 balls was a tough ask. But scoreboard pressure did not leave Dolphins all at sea.

Van Jaarsveld fell for 124 off 156 balls and big-hitting allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo walked in with Dolphins 100 runs shy of their target with 12 overs left.

Phehlukwayo cracked 40 off 24 balls with two fours and three sixes to push Dolphins ahead again. He was at the crease, looking at an asking rate of a mere 4.5. Titans needed four wickets in four overs. They had the express Marchant de Lange in fine form too - 4 for 90 in addition to 3 for 92 in the first innings. All was set for a photo finish, except the light gave out.

Van Jaarsveld had starred in that first innings as well when Dolphins declared on 306 for 4 in the 92nd over, trailing Titans' 451 presumably in an effort to force a victory. His 92 off 162 balls wasn't the top score though. That belonged to opener Sarel Erwee with 108 off 232 balls.

Titans' second innings lasted most of the morning as they hoped to eat into the time left for the chase. Heino Kuhn (80) and Dean Elgar (66) provided the bulk of their total of 208 for 4 when the declaration came.

Kuhn had a very productive match, he made 96 in the first innings and Titans were powered to their 400-plus total by a century from Qaasim Adams, who was batting at No. 6. A high-scoring match was primed for a high-scoring chase, but it was not to be.

A seven-wicket haul from Duanne Olivier was complemented by Rudi Second's half-century to secure Knights a 10-wicket victory over Lions in the Sunfoil Series.

Lions were asked to bat in Johannesburg and they didn't quite go about it well enough. There were four ducks, and only their opener and captain Stephen Cook (43) and Temba Bavuma (28 off 71 balls) managed to spend enough time in the middle. There were four ducks as Olivier picked up 3 for 34 and Malusi Siboto finished with 3 for 35 and Lions were bundled out for 144.

Knights' innings was fed by Second's 70 off 157 balls with nine fours and Shadley van Schalkwyk's half-century when he came in to bat at No. 8. Hardus Viljoen and Dwaine Pretorius picked up three wickets each, but the total had by then swollen to 248.

With a lead of 104 runs, Knights' bowlers set about dismantling the Lions line-up again. There were five single-digit scores and again Cook was the top-scorer with 42 off 90 balls. Olivier was skillful with the new ball again, with 4 for 63. Lions were rolled over for 214, leaving Knights a target of 115. Openers Reeza Hendricks and Michael Erlank hit fifties to seal a 10-wicket victory.

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