Lions stay on top with 10-wicket win
Lions retained top position in the Sunfoil table with a comprehensive 10-wicket victory against Knights at Chevrolet Park. The win was built on the back of a strong first-innings display with the bat led by Neil McKenzie's second century in four matches. Knights, batting first, were bundled out for 248, with only the captain Werner Coetsee raising a much-needed fifty, scoring an unbeaten 65. Chris Morris was the pick of Lions' bowlers, taking 3 for 40, while Hardus Viljoen, Dwaine Pretorius and Eddie Leie shared six scalps between them.
Lions began their reply strongly, as Rassie van der Dussen (70) and Dominic Hendricks (71) built a solid platform, which McKenzie took full advantage by scoring 108, his 52nd first-class hundred. McKenzie added valuable runs with the middle and lower order, including 109 for the fourth wicket with Temba Bavuma (57), as Lions made 441 to collect a lead of 193.
Knights did not fare much better in their second innings, folding for 289. A opening stand of 90, as well as fifties from Reeza Hendricks and Rudi Second gave them a promising start, but the team failed to string together any meaningful partnership. Kagiso Rabada took the bowling honours this time, his 3 for 52 coming at an economy rate of 2.16.
It meant that Lions needed just 97 for their fifth win of the season, and they got there without much fuss, in 14.3 overs without losing a wicket.
Following regular blows from Marchant de Lange (3 for 66) and Rowan Richards (3 for 35), Dolphins were floundering at 58 for 6 before van Wyk and Calvin Savage rescued the team with a 116-run, seventh-wicket partnership, sealing their fourth win of the season that keeps them in second place behind Lions.
Dolphins were in control throughout the game, right from when Titans won the toss and chose to bat. Theunis de Bruyn (52) and Henry Davids (79) struck fifties, but three wickets apiece from Keshav Maharaj, Mathew Pillans and Daryn Dupavillon meant that Titans could only muster 267.
Dolphins responded with two half-centurions of their own - Divan van Wyk's 87 and Morne van Wyk's 81 - which powered them to 352, with a lead of 85. Dean Elgar stroked a century in Titans' second innings and put up 138 for the fifth wicket with Qaasim Adams (72), but Adams' wicket in the 60th over triggered a collapse that led to the team losing their last 36 runs for six wickets. It proved too costly in the end.
Warriors and Cape Cobras played out a draw in Cape Town, a result that did little to help the prospects of either team who are both rooted near the bottom of the Sunfoil table.
Warriors, opting to bat, were skittled out for 288 in their first innings. They were struggling at 111 for 6 - thanks to timely blows from Rory Kleinveldt (4 for 59) and Dane Paterson (4 for 59) - before they were rescued by a 161-run stand for the seventh wicket between Darryl Brown and (63) and Simon Harmer (94). Cobras, however, quickly began to seize the initiative, riding on a strong batting display to post 545 and earn a 257-run lead. Richard Levi (79), Justin Ontong (82) and Justin Kemp (73) all produced half-centuries, but Omphile Ramela was the stand-out performer, scoring 129 and sharing a 162-run association with Ontong.
It left open the possibility of an innings defeat, but Cobras held firm in their second dig. Their openers David White (57) and Michael Price (94) pitched in with a 155-run stand in 55 overs, before an unbeaten half-century from Colin Ackerman (53*) saw his team to the end of the day and safety.