Warriors face uphill battle on last day of Knights encounter
Gerald Coetzee and Mbulelo Budaza grabbed two wickets apiece late on day three to put the VKB Knights on course for victory in their opening match of the 2019/2020 4-Day Domestic Series against the Warriors in Kimberley on Wednesday.
The pair tore through the visitors’ top order with two for 14 and two for 15 respectively to leave them with a mountain to climb on 64 for five at stumps, chasing a target of 436 at the Diamond Oval.
It completed a dominant day for the Central franchise, who also asserted themselves with the bat through half- centuries for captain Pite van Biljon, Keegan Petersen and debutant Shaun von Berg.
They had started the day in charge with a 134-run lead and nine wickets in hand and ended it in an even more powerful position.
After the loss of Grant Mokoena (12) first ball, skipper Van Biljon struck 95 off 135 balls (10 fours, 2 sixes) and Petersen (84 off 148 balls, 7 fours) to share an outstanding 176-run third-wicket stand that put them almost out of sight.
Both eventually fell in quick succession to Lutho Sipamla (3/70), but Von Berg continued his excellent debut for his new side with an unbeaten 61 off 88 balls (6 fours, 2 sixes), sharing in stands of 69 with Clyde Fortuin (34) and 39 unbroken with another debutant, Marco Jansen (20).
That allowed the Knights to declare on 332 for six.
A young man playing his first franchise game, Coetzee then rocked the Warriors early on by sending openers Eddie Moore and Matthew Breetzke, both for four, packing inside 2.5 overs.
It was nine for two at that stage, and after a brief recovery led by Gihahn Cloete (31), Budaza struck twice to get rid of the set man as well as former Knights man Rudi Second (9).
Von Berg then got one of the most valuable wickets in the visitors’ lineup – captain Jon-Jon Smuts (8) – leaving the away side in a huge fix at the close.
Eathan Bosch struck a key half-century to help the Hollywoodbets Dophins take the fight to the Multiply Titans on day three of their opening- round encounter in Centurion on Wednesday.
The fast bowler made exactly 50 (61 balls, 7 fours) as the visitors replied to their hosts’ 441 with 385 at SuperSport Park, before the innings advantage of 56 was stretched to 173 by the close – Mark Boucher’s side progressing to 117 for three.
Not only did Bosch take time out of the game with his innings, but he also claimed the prize wicket of new home captain Grant Thomson (38) in the penultimate over before stumps.
The Imperial Lions needed just seven deliveries on the third morning to sew up victory by 11 runs over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in their opening match in Potchefstroom.
Malusi Siboto claimed the final wicket to finish with remarkable figures of five for 15 in 12.1 overs, five of which were maidens, at Senwes Park.