Cobras ease past Titans

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iol spt mar9 Dane Piedt

Gallo Images

The Cape Cobras, led by off-spinner Dane Piedt, saw off an improved batting performance by the Titans as they won their four-day domestic series match by 211 runs. Photo by Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Bad weather prevented the Dolphins from administering the killer blow to the Warriors in their four-day domestic series match at Buffalo Park in East London on Sunday.

The Dolphins declared their second innings on their overnight total of 257 for eight, a lead of 356, meaning it was all about survival for the Warriors, who had 96 overs to bat out on the fourth day.

And with Robbie Frylinck taking three for 20 in eight overs with the new ball, the Dolphins appeared ready to run through the home side when lunch was taken with the Warriors on 70 for three.

But rain began falling during the interval and at 2pm what seemed a rather rushed decision to call off the game was made.

In Johannesburg, a brilliant all-round bowling display by the Knights forced the Highveld Lions batsmen to sell their wickets cheaply, but it wasn't enough to secure victory for the Central franchise as bad light and rain left them to accept a draw at the Wanderers.

The Lions had resumed their first innings on 54 for two on the final day, but the excellent, probing bowling of the Knights pacemen enabled them to tear through the home side's batting line-up, dismissing them for a paltry 121 on the stroke of lunch.

Quinton Friend ran through the lower-order to finish with four for 35 in 13 overs

With the probing Knights bowling getting the most out of a Wanderers pitch that was producing some tricks, the Lions were under pressure to save the game as they came out to bat again after lunch in their follow-on innings, trailing by 208 runs with 72 overs left in the day.

Fast bowler Corne Dry then produced a vituperative opening spell in which he took two for two in six overs, having both Cook and Dominic Hendricks caught by the sharp Rilee Rossouw in the slips.

Temba Bavuma saw off the pacemen for the next hour, but Knights captain Coetsee dismissed him with his first ball in the second innings.

Neil McKenzie batted for 80 minutes with grim determination, scoring just three off 50 balls, while Conway joined him for half-an-hour, taking the Lions to 54 for three before the weather turned for the worse for the Knights, when torrential rain resulted in the match being called off..

At Boland Park in Paarl, the Cape Cobras, led by off-spinner Dane Piedt, saw off an improved batting performance by the Titans as they won their four-day domestic series match by 211 runs on the fourth and final day.

The Titans, chasing an unlikely 444 for victory, resumed on 62 for two and the cancellation of the gritty 53-run third-wicket stand happened six overs into the day when Rory Kleinveldt trapped Graeme van Buuren lbw for 23.

There was obviously more determination in the Titans middle-order than in the first innings, when they lost their last seven wickets for 23 runs, as Mangaliso Mosehle (26) batted for an hour-and-a-half and Shaun von Berg dug in for nearly two hours as he also scored 26.

Roelof van der Merwe was the best of the Titans batsmen on the final day, as he scored 51 in 128 minutes of resistance, but it was never going to be enough to avoid a heavy defeat for the visitors.

Piedt produced a top-class display of spin bowling in helpful conditions as he took six for 100 in 34.2 overs, while Kleinveldt chipped in with two for 55 to finish with a nine-wicket haul from the match.

The Cobras' victory deals a hammer blow to the rest of the teams in the four-day domestic series as it means the defending champions now lead by nearly 17 points with just three rounds remaining.

The Knights are in second place, while the Dolphins have moved into third, managing to overtake the Lions, nearly 11 points behind the Central franchise.

The loss, their fourth in seventh matches this season, has condemned the Titans to the bottom of the log, trailing the Warriors by two points. – Sapa


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