Two titles in a row for dominant Cape Cobras
Cape Cobras 544 (Vilas 149, Ontong 119) beat Lions 201 (van der Dussen 74, Bavuma 51) and 178 (van der Dussen 55, Piedt 5-51) by an innings and 165 runs
Cape Cobras defended their Sunfoil Series title thrashing Lions by an innings and 165 runs in Johannesburg. The win boosted them to 137.88 points at the top of the table, guaranteeing them their second first-class title in as many years.
Cape Cobras' win was set up by centuries from Justin Ontong and Dane Vilas, who scored 119 and 149 respectively to lift their side to an unassailable 544. Ontong's innings stabilised the side after they had lost three wickets for 62 runs and his 128-run partnership with Yaseen Vallie set a platform that would be later be built on by Vilas and No. 9 Dane Piedt. Ontong was dismissed for 119 off 206 balls, while Vallie scored a 100-ball 51.
Vilas and Piedt then added 155 runs for the eighth wicket, in nearly 42 overs, pushing the Lions on to the back foot after they had pulled things back with a few quick wickets in the middle. Vilas hit 19 fours and a six in his 149, while Piedt struck 13 fours on the way to his highest first-class score of 92.
The Lions top-order had a good start and, guided by fifties from Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma, but just as the side was settling down, Piedt piled on some more misery for the Lions with his offspin. He dismissed Bavuma and Devon Conway in the same over to trigger a slide that saw Lions lose their last eight wickets for 36 runs. They stumbled to 201 all out, conceding a lead of 343.
Their second innings, after being asked to follow on, played out in much the same way. Van der Dussen and Bavuma again stuck around, scoring 55 and 34 respectively, but had little support in their efforts to save the match, as Lions eventually crashed to 178. Piedt took 5 for 51 to add to his two wickets and 92, and was named the Man of the Match for his efforts.
Titans 353 (de Bruyn 79, Davids 60, Walters 4-67) and 275 for 6 dec (Adams 89, Kemm 62) beat Warriors 234 (White 85, Wiese 4-52) and 307 (White 142, Wiese 6-59) by 87 runs
David White threatened to wrench a winning sign-off from Titans, but his six-hour second-innings 142 had to accept second place to David Wiese, who took ten wickets to engineer victory by 87 runs. Warriors refused to be bogged down under a target of 395 and looked in control for a large majority of the chase until Wiese dismissed the centurion and wrecked the middle order.
A wobbly start was remedied by White starring in three vital partnerships since then. He added 124 with Colin Ackermann to push Warriors into a position of strength. White's strike-rate was a healthy 67 courtesy 24 hits to the boundary. The equation - at 130 with seven wickets in hand - seemed manageable but the pressure of a chase got to the middle order. Wiese netted four wickets in the space of seven overs to flip the match on its head and Warriors were left to rue an inadequate second-innings batting performance.
They conceded a lead of 119 and the margin owed itself to White again. His 85 featured 13 fours and a six and proffered the only prolonged source of resistance. Basheeru-Deen Walters, coming in at No.10, whipped 38 off 28 balls to claim the third-best score of the innings. Wiese was the best bowler again with 4 for 52.
Titans were efficient with the bat both times, with fifties from Theunis de Bruyn (79), captain Henry Davids (60) ensuring the top-order built on their decision to bat first. Three wickets for 11 runs left the score at 180 for 5 when Wiese made his first impact of the match. He struck 46, including eight fours. Copus Pienaar also chipped in with 50 off 100 balls to help the tail push the score over 300. Their second innings was build on three more fifties from Qaasim Adams (89), Ernest Kemm (62) and Grant Thomson (53)
Dolphins 564 for 7 dec (Imraan 83, Divan van Wyk 128, Zondo 119, Chetty 54, Smit 69) and 200 for 4 dec (Divan van Wyk 73, Chetty 63*) drew with Knights 446 (Hendricks 103, Cloete 83, Abrahams 51, Siboto 56*, Dry 69) and 116 for 2 (Cloete 69*)
Only 23 wickets fell in a drawn match between Dolphins and Knights in Bloemfontein, which saw three centuries and 10 half-centuries scored in four days. The tone was set early, after Dolphins chose to bat, as their openers Imraan Khan and Divan van Wyk put on 169. The wicket of Imraan provided no respite to Knights, as van Wyk and Khaya Zondo added 118 for the second wicket. Cody Chetty and Daryn Smit stretched Dolphins' score with half-centuries, before they declared at 564 for 7.
Knights' response began in similar manner, with Reeza Hendricks and Gihahn Cloete putting on 191 for the first wicket. But they were in danger of having to follow on as they lost six wickets for 39 runs, before their No. 7 Gerhardt Abrahams, their No. 9 Malusi Siboto and their No. 11 Corne Dry scored half-centuries to ensure that wouldn't happen. Siboto and Dry put on 117 for the last wicket to swell Knights' score to 446.
By this time, the match was already into its final day. Dolphins tried to force a result by declaring after rattling up 200 in just 32 overs, with van Wyk and Chetty making fifties, and had Knights in a spot of bother at 12 for 2 after Daryn Dupavillon struck twice in his first two overs. But Cloete and Dean Elgar ensured there would be no further alarms, batting through to safety with an unbroken stand of 104.