Knights win; Lions stalled despite Petersen double
Knights 270 (Biljon 96, Coetsee 44, Walters 3-42. Magala 3-52) and 212 for 6 (Second 65, Rossouw 43, Coetsee 40) beat Warriors 252 (Ingram 89, Price 62, Siboto 6-54) and 226 (Vallie 105, Ackermann 68, van Schalkwyk 4-44)
Knights have secured their third victory of the season - par with the Sunfoil leaders Titans - with the help of Malusi Siboto's six-wicket haul and Pite van Biljon's 96 in the first innings against Warriors at Buffalo Park.
Proceedings began with Warriors choosing to bat, but apart from opener Michael Price (62) and captain Colin Ingram (89), the rest of the line-up floundered. There were five single-digit scores and they could only put up 252 on the board after nearly 100 overs. Siboto took out five of the top six and finished with 6 for 54. That puts his wickets tally at 16 from two matches.
Knights were reduced to 97 for 5 in reply, but squeaked out a lead of 18 runs thanks to Biljon's resistance. He batted for over three hours, with support from his captain Werner Coetsee (44 off 82 balls) during a 95-run stand for the sixth wicket. Biljon was ninth man out after the lead was secured, and the final wicket fell soon after. Basheeru-Deen Walters and Sisala Magala picked up three wickets each.
Warriors regained the advantage through a century from Yaseen Vallie, his 105 included 19 fours, and Colin Ackermann provided 68 off 150 balls and 11 fours as well. But then came the collapse. They lost seven wickets for 52 runs and tumbled from 174 for 3 to 226 all out. Shadley van Schalkwyk was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 44.
Set 209 to win, Knights pulled it off in 59 overs thanks to solid top order performances. Michael Erlank got off to a flyer with 40 off 50, Rilee Rossouw (43) and wicketkeeper batsman Rudi Second (65) consolidated thereafter and Coetsee thumped 40 off 29 balls with eight fours at a strike-rate of 137.93 to seal the game.
Titans 294 (Behardien 108, Wiese 69, Pretorius 6-66) and 169 for 8 (De Bruyn 62, Viljoen 6-75) drew with Lions 295 (Petersen 203, de Lange 4-49)
Heavy rain in Potchefstroom meant no play was possible on the fourth day, meaning Titans and Lions had to settle for a draw. The rain would have frustrated Lions more, as it was they who held the edge going into the final day after securing a one-run lead.
Titans, opting to bat, were rattled by a six-for from Dwaine Pretorius, but a century from Farhaan Behardien and his 157-run stand with David Wiese lifted the team to 294. Lions, in reply, soon found themselves struggling at 145 for 8, but Alviro Petersen's counterattacking 203 guided his side to 295. Petersen stroked 34 fours and two sixes during his 252-ball knock, and accounted for nearly 70% of his team's total score.
Lions then made further inroads with the ball, as Hardus Viljoen collected 6 for 75 to wreck Titans' top order. Theunis de Bruyn was the only batsman to manage a half-century, his 62 dragging the team to 169 for 8 before stumps were called on day three.
Dolhins 405 (Smit 64, Maharaj 56, Miller 54) drew with Cape Cobras 216 (Ramela 89, Maharaj 5 for 62) and (f/o) 361 for 6 (Ramela 107*, Ontong 74, Vilas 54, Petersen 53)
Keshav Maharaj was spearheading the Dolphins' push for an innings victory at Durban, having recorded his second instance of an all-round double - hitting fifty-plus and following it up with a five-for - but Cape Cobras found a savior in Omphile Ramela who struck an unbeaten 107 after his team was asked to follow-on. Both teams eventually settled for a draw.
Cape Cobras had been knocked over for 216 after Dolphins had racked up 405 in the first innings. Ramela had top-scored with 89 but there was very little support from the rest of the line-up. Maharaj breezed through 32.2 overs, racked up 12 maidens, gave away a meagre 62 runs and snatched five wickets including the top-scorer Ramela's. New-ball bowler Craig Alexander picked up 3 for 49.
Dolphins were clinical with the bat too, having won the toss. They had contributions all down the order - half-centuries from wicketkeeper Daryn Smith (64), David Miller (54) and Maharaj (56) and cameos from opener Sarel Erwee (45), No. 10 Daryn Dupavillon (44) and No. 11 Craig Alexander (39).
That allowed them 132 overs at Cape Cobras in the second innings to gain full points, but this there were plenty of hands on deck. The man steering the ship was Ramela again with his sixth first-class century. Along side him, Justin Ontong struck 74, Dane Vilas, who had just played the Johannesburg Test against England, produced a run-a-ball 54 and Keegan Petersen struck 53 as well. Maharaj was used for 61 overs, 22 of which were maidens, but he could only pick up one wicket.