Knights fighting to deny Cobras

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Cape Town – Half centuries from Colin Ackermann and Michael Price put any premature title celebration from the Cape Cobras on hold as the Warriors fought hard to save their domestic four-day contest at Newlands, in Cape Town, on Saturday.

Number three Ackermann was unbeaten on 52 at the close, while Price fell for 54 a little over 30 minutes before stumps with their side on 123 for two in pursuit of an unlikely 474.

Simon Harmer had claimed six wickets earlier in the day as the hosts declared their second innings on 253 for seven.

The right-arm off-break bowler bagged six for 112, his 11th career five-for, although the Cobras may feel they batted longer than they needed to as they looked to sew up the title.

Captain Justin Ontong top-scored for his side with 54 off 97balls, while Yaseen Vallie struck 49 off 87.

However, the Cobras bowlers then lacked penetration with the Warriors looking solid enough and closing to within 351 of an unlikely win.

In Durban, a sporting declaration from Highveld Lions captain Stephen Cook after scoring a third century of the season helped the Johannesburg outfit keep alive their victory chances against the Dolphins at Kingsmead.

The veteran opener made exactly 100 from 193 balls Ä a deficit of 97 on the home side's 329 for seven the evening before Ä as the visitor closed their innings on 232.

Cliffe Deacon then produced a fine opening burst to reduce the Dolphins to 26 for three before they recovered to reach the close on 131 without further loss.

Skipper Morne van Wyk was leading the recovery on an unbeaten 27 with Daryn Smit (36) keeping him company as the pair shared an unbroken 68 run stand.

The opening day of the match was washed out by rain, effectively turning the contest into a three-day affair.

Finally in Centurion, the Knights, who still have a chance to win the title, were facing a backs-to-the-wall final day after reaching the close on 32 for none in pursuit of 435 set by the Titans.

That was after the home side had declared their second innings on 286 for seven thanks to half centuries by Qaasim Adams (84) and Mangaliso Mosehle (56).

Johan van der Wath was the pick of the bowlers having collected three for 58.

At the start of the day, the Knights lasted just 17 more deliveries before being bundled out for 218 Ä adding six more to their overnight total with Marchant de Lange claiming the remaining two wickets standing for figures of three for 63.

Werner Coetsee was out for his day two score of 57.

Just one round of games remains after this one. – Sapa


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