Lions back on top

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Neil_McKenzie Gallo Images File picture of Lions captain Neil McKenzie.

Benoni – The Highveld Lions moved back to the top of the Sunfoil series log with an emphatic six-wicket victory over the Titans at Willowmoore Park on Saturday.

Chasing a target of 181 for victory, the Lions struck the winning runs just before lunch on the third day of the four-day match.

They resumed play on Saturday morning on 74 without loss, and appeared set for an easy victory.

However, there must have been a few tremors in the Lions' dressing room after Stephen Cook was out off the last ball of the first over, caught behind by Mangaliso Mosehle off Ethy Mbhalati for 36.

The tremors must have increased when they lost two more wickets for the addition of just 21 runs; Chris Morris caught by David Wiese off Mbhalati for eight and Dominic Hendricks caught by Henry Davids off Rowan Richards for 46.

On Friday morning, the Lions were heading for a huge first innings lead when they resumed play on 149/2, but instead they imploded and lost eight wickets for 53 runs.

However, Temba Bavuma and Neil McKenzie got together and set about knocking off the runs with a fourth-wicket stand of 55 runs, before Bavuma was caught and bowled by Shaun von Berg for 38.

Team elder McKenzie was joined in the middle by another veteran, Zander de Bruyn, with just 30 runs needed for victory. Fittingly, it was McKenzie who scored the winning run, when he hit Von Berg through extra cover for four.

The Lions earned 16.04 points to move to the top of the table, with 95.22 points, ahead of the Cape Cobras, who have 92.18 and the Warriors, with 92. – Sapa

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