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Cricket | 4-Day Franchise Series 2018/19

Zubayr Hamza © Backpage Pix

Hamza ton puts Cobras in command

Zubayr Hamza did his test chances for the forthcoming series against Sri Lanka no harm when he struck an unbeaten century – his first of the season – for the WSB Cape Cobras against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins on the second day of their 4-Day Franchise Series match at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

Hamza has so far shown the patience and discipline that the Dolphins’ batsmen lacked. His innings, which has so far lasted for 207 balls and included 12 fours, is a shining example to some of the Dolphins batsmen about how to go about your business in first-class cricket.

When bad light brought play to a close just eight overs into the final session, the Cobras were sitting pretty on 245/3, just 65 shy of the Dolphins’ ultimately disappointing 310.

The Cobras began the day well, with Vernon Philander taking all four remaining Dolphins’ wickets in 2.2 overs without conceding a run. Although he helped himself to three of his scalps, courtesy of some slack strokes, his dismissal of Senuran Muthusamy was arguably the ball of the match to date.

Philander, after going wicketless on the first day, finished with 4/46 off 14.2 overs while left-arm spinner George Linde, not needed on Tuesday, claimed 4/62 in 21 overs.

Although they lost Simon Khomari early, unluckily “strangled” down the leg side off Keith Dudgeon, Pieter Malan and Hamza calmly added 58 for the second wicket to take their team to 87/1 at lunch.

The Dolphins’ bowlers, once again bowling with too few runs in the bank, faced a hard slog in the steamy conditions on a flat pitch.

Indeed, the visitors’ position could have been even stronger if they hadn’t gifted the Dolphins two of their wickets.

Shortly after lunch, opener Pieter Malan, who had looked immovable, had an unlikely rush of blood to the head, darting down the pitch to a wide delivery from Muthusamy and leaving wicketkeeper Grant Roelofsen with an easy stumping.

David Bedingham joined Hamza and the pair added 64 with no concerns before – out of the blue – Bedingham pulled a delivery from Okuhle Cele gently to midwicket.

But Hamza continued in his measured way, this time accompanied by Kyle Verreynne (41*), and the pair added an unbroken 84 for the fourth wicket when the weather – perhaps the Cobras’ biggest concern – intervened.

Report Day 1

DOLPHINS: Michael Erlank, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Marques Ackerman, Khaya Zondo (capt), Sibs Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, Grant Roelofsen (w/k), Keshav Maharaj, Eathan Bosch, Keith Dudgeon, Okuhle Cele

CAPE COBRAS: Pieter Malan, David Bedingham, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt (capt), Kyle Verreynne (w/k), Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Simon Khomari, Vernon Philander, Zubayr Hamza, Aviwe Mgijima, George Linde


Half-centuries from Sinethemba Qeshile and Sisanda Magala, and overall stubborn resistance from the other Warriors’ batsmen, forced the bizhub Highveld Lions to work hard for their rewards on the second day of their 4-Day Franchise Series match at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Tuesday.

Facing the Lions’ first innings total of 440, the Warriors had reached 314/6 at the close, still 126 runs in arrears. The visitors have already avoided the follow-on and, based on Tuesday’s performance, the Lions will have to work hard to prise out the remaining wickets on such a good batting surface.

From the Lions’ perspective, Bjorn Fortuin was the last wicket to fall after they resumed on their overnight total of 409/8. Altogether he struck 34 fours and a six in his 183 that occupied 227 balls, a magnificent effort.

Meanwhile, his partner in Monday’s SA record seventh-wicket partnership of 301, Delano Potgieter, is certainly enjoying his first franchise match. Having scored 145 with the bat, the medium-pacer supplemented that in the field by taking the first four Warriors’ wickets to fall, going in to tea with the excellent figures of 4/39.

Having got rid of Edward Moore (36), Lesiba Ngoepe (11) and Yaseen Vallie (14) in the afternoon, Potgieter was given a helping hand by Malusi Siboto who had Marco Marais caught behind for 33 after sharing a partnership of 58 with Qeshile.

The 19-year old Qeshile – who has impressed so many this season – perished soon after the tea break for 76, his seventh half-century this summer, but the Warriors were certainly not done, with Magala and Thomas Kaber featuring in an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 73 in 24.2 overs. At the close Magala was on 59 (124 balls, 9x4s) and Kaber was on 38.

LIONS: Stephen Cook, Dominic Henricks, Wihan Lubbe, Temba Bavuma, Kagiso Rapulana, Bjorn Fortuin, Nandre Burger (capt), Nicky van den Bergh (w/k), Nono Pongolo, Malusi Siboto, Delano Potgieter

WARRIORS: Edward Moore (capt), Matthew Breetzke, Yaseen Vallie, Lesiba Ngoepe, Sinethemba Qeshile (w/k), Marco Marais, Sisanda Magala, Thomas Kaber, Glenton Stuurman, Basheeru Walters, Sithembile Langa


Play has been abandoned for the second consecutive day in the 4-Day Franchise Series match between the Multiply Titans and the VKB Knights at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Tuesday.

The wet outfield that prevented play on Monday was still a problem on Tuesday with the captains not tossing or announcing their teams.


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