JOHANNESBURG – Simon Harmer continued his excellent form for the Warriors, helping them gain the ascendancy against the table-topping Titans, by picking up four wickets on the second day of the Sunfoil Series match in East London.
Harmer, the competition’s leading wicket-taker heading into the current round of matches, bowled unchanged for 17 overs, as the Titans ended the day on 111/5, still trailing the hosts by 171 runs.
Harmer turned the screws early on for the Warriors, one of four teams in hot pursuit of the Titans as the competition heads for its climax, by claiming the wicket of opener Andrea Agathangelou in the 17th over for 21.
Thereafter it was something of a procession between the Titans dressing room and the pitch, with wickets falling at regular intervals. The Titans’ best partnership was a measly 24 between Farhaan Behardien and Henry Davids, with the latter scoring just seven before he was bowled by Harmer.
Behardien was still batting when play was prematurely ended by bad light, on 43, with Chris Morris set to resume with him on Saturday on five not out. Harmer finished the day with figures of 4/37 from 17 overs.
Earlier Morris, desperately seeking form and confidence after a difficult limited overs series against India, picked up 4/42 in 21 overs as the Warriors were bowled out for 282. There were three wickets apiece for Junior Dala and leg-spinner Shaun von Berg, while Harmer preceded his bowling heroics with a fine effort with the bat, scoring 46 off 79 balls, and ensuring the Titans picked up a crucial third batting bonus point.
* In Pietermaritzburg, Aviwe Mgijima’s as yet unbeaten 95, gave the Cape Cobras the lead in their match against the Dolphins.
Mgijima’s innings included nine fours and three sixes as the visitors ended the day on 326/7, a lead of 41 runs. Mgijima shared partnerships 111 for the fifth wicket with Kyle Verreynne and 43 for the sixth with Dane Piedt as the Cobras slowly took the advantage at the Pietermaritzburg Oval.
Rabian Engelbrecht was the best bowler for the hosts, claiming 3/58, while slow bowler Prenelan Subrayen finished with 2/73.
The Dolphins had resumed on Friday on 282/9 but could only add three more runs before they were bowled out with Dane Vilas’s 70 and Rob Frylinck’s 65, the best scores for the home team.
* David Miller scored a vital century from both a team and personal standpoint as the defending champion Knights took firm control of their match against the Highveld Lions in Kimberley.
After bowling out the Lions, who have struggled all season and lost twice in this competition, for just 217, the Knights shook off the loss of two early wickets, to rapidly gain the ascendancy. Luthando Mnyanda and Miller added 94 for the third wicket, to put the Knights back on track after a double strike from Nono Pongolo had reduced them to 59/2.
Mnyanda scored 81 off 154 balls in over three and a half hours at the crease hitting 14 fours.
Miller, who appeared to suffer a crisis of confidence in the limited overs matches against India, dragged himself back to something approaching the more confident player that most South African know him to be registering just the sixth first class hundred of his career.
He will hope the innings of 103, which lasted three and half hours and in which he faced 148 balls, will be the turning point in that has been a rough season, at both international and domestic level. His innings included 10 fours and two sixes.
Werner Coetsee on 32 and Patrick Kruger 45, will resume the Knights’ innings on 306/4 on Saturday, their lead already standing on 89 runs.
That the Lions even got beyond 200 was thanks mainly to Dwaine Pretorius who made 76. The all-rounder shared a part of 94 for the ninth wicket with Sean Jamison who made 35.