Johannesburg – A fourth first class century for Tony de Zorzi gave Western Province the advantage in the ‘Cape Derby’ against Boland in Paarl on Saturday.
De Zorzi scored 129 as WP finished day two of the Division 1 match in the Four-Day Series on 315/4 - that represents a lead of 48 runs.
The 24 year old left hand opener, a former SA Under 19 captain, has become one of the mainstays of the WP side - and previously the Cape Cobras franchise - since making the move south from Northerns two years ago. Better known as a one-day player, while still representing the Titans, he has rapidly matured in Cape Town, with Saturday’s innings another example of that growth.
No longer just a dasher, De Zorzi now plays with a lot of responsibility and patience, as he showed in Paarl. He was happy to allow Zubayr Hamza to dominate a 170-run second wicket stand, in which the right hander - who has shown excellent form at the start of the season - smashed five sixes and 10 fours in an innings of 94.
De Zorzi raised his century with a square drive for four, as WP moved ahead of Boland’s first innings total of 267, and with two days to go, and Kyle Verreynne set to resume on 21 and Wayne Parnell still to come, the visitors will look to build a big lead and and hope to bat just once.
In Gqeberha the Lions are on the brink of doing precisely that, as they need just three more wickets to beat the Warriors by an innings.
In what has been a bowlers match, the Lions were grateful for a 54-run eighth wicket partnership between Sisanda Magala (34) and Malusi Siboto (25), which guided them to a total of 170, a lead of 74. Marco Jansen matched Lutho Sipamla’s ‘6-fer’ claiming 6/40, which like Sipamla’s 6/34 on Friday were career-best figures for the lanky left-arm seamer.
Any hopes the Warriors had of knocking off that deficit with little damage, was crushed inside the first 11 overs of their second innings, as the hosts slumped to 16/5 with Magala claiming two wickets, Duane Olivier two and Sipamla one.
There was some brief respite, but then Magala returned to pick up two more wickets, leaving the Warriors 41/7, when bad light stopped play for the second day in a row.
It was better going for the batters at SuperSport Park, where Sarel Erwee, finished on 103 not out at stumps, guiding the Dolphins to 241/2. They still trail the Titans by 183 runs.
The left-hander, whose been part of the Proteas Test squad this year, struck 12 fours in his innings. Erwee and Bryce Parsons who made 78, shared an opening stand worth 164.
In Potchefstroom, the Knights asked the home side, the North West Dragons, to follow-on after dismissing them 237, with Mbulelo Budaza taking 4/64, while Patrick Kruger follow up his career best 192 not out, by claiming 3/12 with his right arm medium pace.