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Johannesburg – Unbeaten half centuries from Michael Erlank and Obus Pienaar ensured that the Knights batted out the final day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Highveld Lions and walked away with a draw in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
Left-hander Erlank, who opened the batting, was the mainstay for the visitors with his 73 not out coming from 204 deliveries, while allrounder Pienaar struck a more attacking 70 off 121 balls.
That helped the Free Staters reach 187 for three by tea, before the two captains shook hands and settled for a shared result with the 369 victory target well out of reach despite only 60 overs bowled on day four.
Resuming on 13 without loss, the Knights were in some early trouble after Rudi Second edged fast bowler Pumelela Matshikwe (1/22) to wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile for 12.
Rilee Rossouw (24) added 36 with Erlank for the second wicket, including taking the visitors past 50 in the 21st over, before he became the first of two wickets to fall with the score on 65.
Brett Pelser (2/28) twice drew edges to keeper Tsolekile, first Rossouw losing his wicket followed by Ryan Bailey (nought) to give the home side a sniff.
But that proved to be the final wicket as Erlank and Pienaar recorded their fourth and 10th career half centuries respectively during an unbroken 122-run stand as the Bloemfontein side comfortably held out to retake third spot on the log.
On Saturday, the Dolphins secured their first victory of the season when they trounced defending champions the Titans by a massive innings and 247 runs in Durban.
On Friday there was also another large win when the Cape Cobras destroyed the Warriors by an innings and 50 runs in East London to extend their advantage at the top of the table.
The latest set of results leave the men from Cape Town on 79.58
points, almost 24 clear of the Warriors (55.62).
The Knights are third on 51.92, while the Dolphins have 48.08.
The Lions and Titans, who have both played two games less than the other four teams, are on 36.76 and 18.5 points respectively. – Sapa