Cobras remain unbeaten, Gqamane stars

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General view of Sahara Newlands Stadium during the match between the Cape Cobras and the Titans.

Johannesburg – Ayabulela Gqamane, in his first-class debut for the Warriors, crushed the Lions in their Sunfoil Series match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The 23-year-old seam bowler took seven wickets for just 24 runs in the Lions' second innings, sweeping the Warriors to a 10-wicket victory with more than a day to spare.

Hailing from Mdingi village in the Eastern Cape, Gqamane grew up with only a fence separating his yard from the home of former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya Ntini.

Bagging four wickets in the first innings, the diminutive speedster returned match figures of 11/70.

Gqamane's consistent line outside offstump and his valuable bouncers left the Lions in tatters as they were dismissed for 59 runs after resuming their second innings on 35/5, holding a 115-run lead in the morning session.

Chasing 140 for the win, Warriors captain Davy Jacobs reached his half-century off 55 balls and remained unbeaten on 84, while fellow opener Michael Price was not out on 49.

They never allowed the dangerous spin duo of Imran Tahir and Eddie Leie to settle, cracking both of them for over six runs an over.

In Cape Town, the Cobras extended their unbeaten run, beating the Titans by 10 wickets after the visitors forced them into a second innings.

Claiming 18.98 points, the win ensured they remained top of the log while the Titans, earning just 2.84, were rooted to the bottom.

After a disappointing 192 all out in the Titans’ first innings, a century from Andrew Puttick (126) and 82 runs from Alistair Gray afforded the Cobras the luxury of declaring their first innings on 476/8. The hosts showed no mercy as the Titans struggled to knock off the 284-run deficit.

Resuming on 15/2, Heino Kuhn made 84 and Jacques Rudolph 77 and with a stubborn tail, the Titans eventually made it into the black setting the Cobras a meagre target of 18 runs for victory.

Seamer Johann Louw took 5/89 for the Cobras while left-armer Beuran Hendricks grabbed four wickets.

Puttick and Gray took 19 minutes to add an extra day to their Christmas break.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, took their match against the Knights into a fourth day’s play in Bloemfontein, still trailing their hosts by 25 runs, with five wickets remaining.

The Knights were eventually dismissed for 498, leaving the Dolphins to play catch-up after their first innings total of 221.

Imraan Khan scored a gutsy 90 for the visitors before nicking one through to the keeper. He combined with Vaughn van Jaarsveld for a third-wicket century stand before the latter was caught behind, by Rudi Second, for 40.

The Dolphins would be pinning their hopes on Kyle Abbott and youngster Calvin Savage to try and salvage a draw. – Sapa


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