Record-breaking partnership lifts Lions on day one

Cricket ball. File picture
Cricket ball. File picture

A record-breaking 301-run seventh-wicket partnership between Bjorn Fortuin and Delano Potgieter helped the title-chasing bizhub Highveld Lions recover from a woeful start to reach stumps in a powerful position after day one of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Warriors in Potchefstroom on Monday.

The hosts closed day one at Senwes Park on a superb 409 for eight after losing the toss and being asked to bat.

In a sensational recovery, both players hit career-best centuries to help their side recover from a dire 96 for six.

Fortuin was unbeaten on 157 (206 balls, 30 fours), his third career century and one that beat his previous best franchise score of 116 against the Titans in 2015-2016.

Potgieter, meanwhile, blasted 145 off 176 balls (21 fours, 3 sixes), the highest score of his career overall in just his 12th game playing first-class cricket.

He eventually fell within half-an-hour of the close, but with his side in a powerful position in their bid to chase down the log-leading World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, who began the final round of games just over three points ahead on the table.

It was a completely different picture earlier on in the day, though, as Glenton Stuurman (4/87) ran riot with four wickets to leave the Lions in a fix.

Kagiso Rapulana (34), Temba Bavuma (22) and Stephen Cook (21) all got starts but were out in the first session.

However, the Fortuin Potgieter partnership completely transformed the game as they smashed the previous seventh-wicket record of 214 held by Morne van Wyk and Ryan McLaren for the Knights in 2011/12.

Sisanda Magala (3/101) claimed two wickets in two balls at the death, but the Lions still completed the day well ahead of the game.

Meanwhile, a century by Vaughn van Jaarsveld helped the Hollywoodbets Dolphins make a solid start to their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Cape Cobras in their decisive finalround encounter in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

The hosts reached the close at the City Oval on 293 for six thanks to the opener’s 21st career century.

Van Jaarsveld made 120 (153 balls, 16 fours, 1 six) and shared in a 111-run opening stand with Michael Erlank, who made exactly 50 (121 balls, 8 fours) in his second game for the franchise.

Their partnership laid a solid foundation for basement side the Dolphins against a visiting side that need nothing less than victory in their pursuit of a first four-day crown since 2013-2014.

The Cobras were on the backfoot early on as the home openers got away after losing the toss and being asked to bat first.

After their stand was eventually broken by George Linde, who was outstanding with four for 62, wickets began to fall more regularly.

Marques Ackerman (23) added 50 for the second wicket with Van Jaarsveld, with 55 following between the latter and captain Khaya Zondo (25) for wicket number three. –