Wiaan Mulder went on to record his career-best score at first-class level with a superb 146 for the Highveld Lions. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN – Career-best scores by Wiaan Mulder, Kagiso Rapulana and Nono Pongolo helped put the Highveld Lions in a dominant position after the third day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Knights in Bloemfontein on Wednesday. 

The performances of the trio helped the visitors record an excellent 490 all out, a lead of 133 on the first innings, with the hosts then limping to stumps on 95/5, still trailing by 38.

It was a wonderful all-round day for title-chasing Lions, who initially saw centuries from Mulder and Rapulana, as well as a maiden franchise 50 from Pongolo.

Medium-pacer Pongolo was then the key man with the ball as he nabbed 3/24 to leave the hosts staring down the barrel at the Mangaung Oval. 

The Johannesburg-based side started the second half of the fixture on 279/5, with the Rapulana-Mulder stand extended to 126 for the sixth wicket, before the latter was eventually dismissed by Thandolwethu Mnyaka (1/85) for 135 (186 balls, 15x4).

It was Rapulana’s highest score at four-day level, and Mulder went on to record his career-best score at first-class level with a superb 146 (243 balls, 16x4).

Before that, he had added 91 for the eighth wicket alongside Pongolo, who made a franchise-high 52 (74 balls, 7x4).

Nono Pongolo scored 52 and took 3/24 for the Lions. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Patrick Kruger was the pick of the bowlers for the Knights after collecting 5/60, his maiden five-for at this level. 

Pongolo, Nandré Burger (1/20) and Malusi Siboto (1/28) then sliced through the Central Franchise’s top-order to leave them on 60/5, before Andries Gous (27 not out) helped the hosts fight back by the close.

Cricket South Africa