<
>

Muthusamy, van Jaarsveld add mammoth 355 in high-scoring draw

File photo - Theunis de Bruyn shared a 258-run stand for the fourth wicket to pull Knights out of trouble Gallo Images

A mammoth second-wicket partnership of 355 runs between Senuran Muthusamy and Vaughn van Jaarsveld - the fourth-highest for the wicket in first-class matches in South Africa - was the highlight of a high-scoring drawn game between Knights and Dolphins in Kimberley.

Muthusamy's 181 and van Jaarsveld's 203 - his highest first-class score - helped Dolphins pile up 538 for 7 declared in response to Knights' score of 487 for 7 declared. The pair came together in the 17th over of Dolphins' innings, after the wicket of Divan van Wyk, and stayed at the crease for 86 overs; Dolphins' entire innings lasted 141 overs. Van Jaarsveld brought up his century first - off 145 balls - while Muthusamy took 190 deliveries to reach his sixth in the format. Van Jaarsveld took only 86 more deliveries to get to his double century, hitting 27 fours and three sixes in his 237-ball knock, which was ended by Theunis de Bruyn. Muthusamy was out ten overs later, also dismissed by de Bruyn, having hit 20 fours and two sixes in his 348-ball stay. Knights used ten bowlers, and the most successful ones - de Bruyn with two and Rudi Second with 4 for 105 - were also the players who had struck centuries for them earlier in the match.

De Bruyn and Second added 258 for the fourth wicket, pulling Knights out of trouble after they were struggling at 85 for 3 by the 28th over, having been put in to bat. The pair came within six runs of the partnership record for the fourth wicket in the competition, held by Albie Morkel and Justin Kemp. De Bruyn slammed 19 fours and four sixes in his 249-ball 182 while Second scored 125 off 170 balls with 14 fours. Knights were 364 for 5 by the time both batsmen were dismissed and managed to move past 450 with solid contributions from Keegan Petersen (65*) and Marchant de Lange (42).

Dolphins took 8.07 points from the game, the most in the round, to grab a slender lead over Titans at the top of the table.

Cape Cobras and Warriors remained in the bottom half of the points table as poor weather, bad light and a wet outfield truncated play in the draw in East London. Both teams saw half-centuries from their top and middle-order batsmen while offspinner Dane Piedt impressed with 4 for 64 on the last day after the third day didn't see any play.

Once Warriors opted to field, Cobras were in some trouble, at 200 for 6, after opener Andrew Puttick fell for 85. However, Aviwe Mgijima's second straight fifty led them to a more respectable 291 as Basheeru-Deen Walters and Sisanda Magala finished with three wickets apiece.

Warriors' batting did not impress much either as they conceded first-innings lead after only Colin Ackermann (89) and Yaseen Vallie (94) scored more than 30. They were 175 for 5 at the end of the second day and Piedt claimed four wickets in the space of eight overs on the last day to restrict Warriors to 260. Cobras batted for 23 overs in the second innings to post 71 for 3, collecting 7.82 points compared to Warriors' 7.2.

Lions had the upper hand in their draw against Titans, who batted their way to safety after being set a fourth-innings target of 405 in Benoni.

Lions scored 347 after being put in to bat, largely due to the efforts of Nicky van den Bergh (99), Devon Conway (66) and No. 10 Nono Pongolo, who struck an important 49 not out. Van den Bergh and Conway shared a 128-run partnership to pull Lions to 238 for 3 before seamer Malusi Siboto's strikes left them in danger of being bowled out for less than 300. Van den Bergh and Pongolo added 80 for the ninth wicket.

The Lions bowlers, particularly Ayavuya Myoli and Bjorn Fortuin, ensured a 96-run first-innings lead, with the pair taking four wickets each. The Titans batsmen got starts, but the top score in their innings was an 80-ball 39 from Chris Morris at No. 8.

Morris' three strikes, in a space of two overs, had threatened to keep Lions' lead to manageable proportions, leaving them 61 for 4 in their second innings after they were 59 for 1. However, Dominic Hendricks and Mangaliso Mosehle struck centuries and added 163 runs for the sixth wicket to swell Lions' lead. Mosehle struck a brisk 123-ball 100, with ten fours and three sixes, while Hendricks finished the innings unbeaten on 103, ensuring the side's lead had passed 400.

Aiden Markram struck a fifty at the top of the order for Titans n their second innings, which eventually closed at 143 for 2.