Verreynne smashes second century before Titans earn tense draw
BENONI – Kyle Verreynne hit a magnificent second century in the match to play a pivotal role as the Cape Cobras narrowly missed out on beating the Titans on the final evening of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Benoni on Thursday.
There were also two wickets apiece by Dane Paterson (2/24) and Tladi Bokako (2/26) as the hosts were put on the back foot for most of day four, eventually holding on to finish on 89/6 – chasing a target of 215 – to clinch a draw at Willowmoore Park.
Before that, though, rising wicketkeeping star Verreynne followed his career-best 155 in the first innings with an attacking 115 (125 balls, 14 fours, two sixes) in the second, helping the visitors amass a second innings score of 348.
There was also a half-century from Jason Smith (53 off 89 balls, seven fours), while Pieter Malan brought up 10,000 first-class career runs before falling for 48.
It was an incredible final day effort by the Cobras, who were looking to bounce back from defeat in the opening round and ended up by claiming what will certainly be a morale-boosting draw.
They started proceedings with just a six-run lead on 140/2 and fell into early trouble by losing Malan, Smith and Aviwe Mgijima (nine), the former pair to pick-of-the-bowlers Tshepo Moreki (4/98). That saw the Cape side slide to 178/5 and in trouble with just a 44-run lead at that stage.
However, 22-year-old Verreynne then came to the fore with his bustling innings that rescued his side, first through a 73-run sixth-wicket stand with Matthew Kleinveldt (24).
Neil Brand (3/56) finally got the breakthrough to keep the Titans’ victory hopes alive, but Verreynne managed to add another 97 with the tail, before he was last man out.
It left the home side chasing a sporting 215 in 47 overs, but the chase never got off the ground as a confident Cobras side went on the attack.
Andrea Agathangelou was sent packing for a fifth-ball duck and fellow opener Wesley Marshall (8) followed in in the fourth over.
Jonathan Vandiar (five) was taken out by Paterson three overs later, handing the paceman his ninth wicket of the match, as the hosts slipped to 23/3.
Brand (18) became the fourth victim with Grant Thomson (17) and Dayyaan Galiem (one) following.
At 79/6, the Cobras were still dreaming, but another in-form man, fresh from back-to-back centuries of his own, Farhaan Behardien, punctured those hopes with his 29 not out off 98 balls to help snatch the draw.
African News Agency (ANA)