Albie Morkel, Pieter Koortzen, Johann Louw and, yes folks, Steve Harmison delivered the outstanding performances of the third round of Supersport Series matches. Morkel scored 151 to steer the Titans to a draw after Koortzen's 158 had earned the Eagles the advantage in the same match. Louw took 11 wickets to spur the Dolphins to a 10-wicket win over the Warriors in East London, the only match of the round in which a result was reached. In another draw in Paarl, Harmison took nine wickets for the Cobras against the Lions. However, the England firebrand didn't impress all who saw him in a first innings in which he took six for 91 but also sent down nine no-balls and 14 wides. "Harmison go home," yelled one spectator as a wayward delivery bounded into the distance for four wides. "He was either two feet outside off-stump or two feet outside leg stump," said another. "He was a bloody disgrace."
CJ de Villiers - or Cornelius Johannes Du Preez De Villiers, to give the Eagles' seamer the glory of his full name - took 4 for 54 to help dismiss the Titans, who won the toss and chose to bat, for 215 In in Benoni. By stumps on the first day the Eagles were 52 for one in reply, and, anchored by Koortzen's stout effort as well as by half-centuries from Loots Bosman (55), Jacques Rudolph (53) and De Villiers (58), they would forge ahead to 450 before they were dismissed. Pierre Joubert mopped up the tail to take 5 for 74. Maurice Aronstam's 86, Faf du Plessis' 74, Morkel's blazing innings - he faced 159 balls and hit 17 fours and six sixes - and 55 extras ensured the Titans would save the match. The Eagles went through the motions of chasing the academic target of 228, reaching 28 for two before play was abandoned.
In East London, Louw ripped through the Warriors first innings of 203, taking 6 for 45 with an excellent display of controlled seam bowling. Davy Jacobs' 90 kept the home side nominally afloat. Louw also featured with the bat in the Dolphins' reply with his 76, one of five half-centuries in a total of 462. The others belonged to Doug Watson (97), Ahmed Amla (62), Test discard Shaun Pollock (63) and 17-year-old debutant Johnathan Vandiar (61). Zander de Bruyn held the Warriors' second innings together with his disciplined 122, but Louw was on the charge again and his return of 5 for 47 saw the Warriors bowled out for 320. That left the Dolphins the nominal target of 62, which they reached without loss.
Rain prevented play before lunch on the first day In in Paarl, and more interruptions on the second morning all but condemned the match to a draw. Even so, interest in Harmison's performance was intense in South Africa and even more so in England. His six wickets, untidily taken or not, helped the Lions dismiss the Cobras for a total of 294 in which Henry Davids' 74 proved the top score. Alviro Petersen's 102 was the fulcrum of the Lions' reply of 260, in which Monde Zondeki took 4 for 70. In the Cobras' second innings Davids added a round 50 to his first-innings half century and JP Duminy, freshly back from South Africa's one-day series triumph in Pakistan, scored an unbeaten 71. That enabled captain Justin Kemp to declare on 231 for 5, which set the Lions 266 to win. They slipped to 88 for 3 before Petersen (95) and Justin Ontong (32) steadied the innings with a stand of 81. Stumps were drawn with the Lions on 194 for 5.
SAA Provincial Three-Day Challenge
A slick bowling performance from KwaZulu-Natal left them chasing 184 to beat Boland in Durban. Wayne Madsen's 79 and a bristling 39 from Khayelihle Zondo, a 17-year-old making his debut, saw them home.
Alan Kruger's 5 for 53 prevented Namibia chasing an unlikely 422 to beat Griqualand West in Windhoek, in spite of 121 from Gerrie Snyman. Namibia collapsed from 197 for 4 to 273 all out.
Six wickets from Warrick Fynn dismissed Border for 219 in their second innings, allowing Eastern Province to knock off their target of 99 with relative ease in Port Elizabeth. Fynn was the star in the first innings too, with a fine 104.
Free State and Easterns' rain-affected match in Bloemfontein dribbled into a dull draw. David Wiese's 5 for 58 limited Easterns' target to 210, but they ran out of time, closing on 36 for 1.
SAA Provincial One-Day Challenge
Boland fell five runs short against KwaZulu-Natal in Durban despite a fine all-round performance from Peter Laing who took 2 for 54 before smacking 61 from 47 balls. It wasn't quite enough, however, with Keagan Africa picking up 3 for 49. Kyle Smit top-scored for KwaZulu-Natal with 66.
Griqualand West thumped Namibia by 139 runs in Windhoek after compiling a massive 321 in their 45 overs. Alan Kruger (65) and Mohammad Akoojee put on 156 for the first wicket from 22.6 overs, followed by a blistering 51 from Adrian McLaren and tail-end frolicking from Reeza Hendricks and Riel de Kock. Namibia never stood a chance - Frikkie Holtzhausen took 3 for 37 - and were bowled out for 182 in 32 overs.
Basheeru-Deen Walters's 5 for 39 took Eastern Province to an easy 74-run win over Border in Port Elizabeth. Fynn's 89 set them 267 to win but they folded for 192 in 39 overs.