BENONI – A superb three-wicket haul from Wiaan Mulder seized the advantage for the Highveld Lions on a rain-hit day one of their 4-Day Domestic Series derby against the Titans in Benoni on Monday.
The Proteas all-rounder claimed 3/23 in 12 overs to leave the defending champions reeling at 160/7 when the weather intervened – just 48 overs into the action.
However, the men from across the Jukskei were fighting back thanks to an unbeaten 46 from another national star, Chris Morris.
Before that though, the title-chasing Lions held all the aces as they made the most of winning the toss and bowling at Willowmoore Park.
They had the home side on 50/4 inside the first 15 overs as Andrea Agathangelou (19), Victor Mahlangu (19), stand-in captain Jonathan Vandiar (4) and Heino Kuhn (4) were all dismissed without causing too much alarm.
Nandré Burger (1/32), Beuran Hendricks (1/38), Malusi Siboto (1/33) and Mulder were the men to make inroads, before Farhaan Behardien (28) and Henry Davids (19) tried to rebuild with a 44-run fifth-wicket stand.
But both were felled by Mulder within four deliveries, leaving the Titans staring down the barrel on 95/6.
Former SA Under-19 wicket-keeper Wandile Makwetu batted for nearly an hour on debut for his four runs that helped Morris contribute 43 for the seventh wicket, although his resistance was ended by Bjorn Fortuin (1/23).
It was left to Eldred Hawken (14 not out) to plug away at the other end as his 22-run stand with Morris was what held up the visiting side towards the close.
Stumps: Rain stopped play early on the first day. The #LionsCharge won the toss and elected to field first, the decision to bowl first seems to be a good one as the lions picked up 7 wickets before end of play— Lions Cricket (@LionsCricketSA) January 14, 2019
Play will resume on day two with the score of 160/7 #LionsCharge pic.twitter.com/uDlfTEErTt
Cricket South Africa