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Cricket | 4-Day Franchise Series 2018/19

Thomas Kaber © Gallo Images

Double ton for Zubayr Hamza



The WSB Cape Cobras are in a dominant position, but the placid pitch and gloomy light are not helping their victory aspirations in their 4-Day Franchise Series match against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg.

Wednesday’s third day found the Cobras compiling a huge first innings total of 523/7 declared – earning themselves a lead of 213 – but the competition’s log leaders struggled to make inroads into the Dolphins’ top order when the home team batted again.

Openers Michael Erlank and first innings centurion Vaughn van Jaarsveld batted for 12 overs before tea, taken on 45 without loss, but only needed to survive a further nine overs after the break before the umpires once again called time for bad light with the Dolphins on 66/0, 147 runs in arrears.

Victory for the Cobras would guarantee them the trophy but a draw gives their closest pursuers, the bizhub Highveld Lions, an opportunity to sneak past them if they can manage to win their match against the Warriors in Potchefstroom.

Earlier, the biggest achievement of the day was Zubayr Hamza’s superb double hundred, an innings that should strengthen his case to be included in the South African test squad to play Sri Lanka next month.

When he was eventually dismissed, caught on the boundary off part-time spinner Khaya Zondo, his 201 had taken him 342 balls spanning seven hours and a quarter and including 20 fours and a six. Although the pitch was flat, Hamza showed good powers of concentration, patience and concise judgment in his innings – the first time he has reached three figures this season.

Hamza’s dismissal brought to an end a fifth-wicket partnership of 95 with Aviwe Mgijima who went on to make 61. Dane Paterson (30*) and Vernon Philander (21*) then played freely to take the Cobras to the declaration.


Report Day 1
Report Day 2


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


LIONS SET UP EXCITING CLIMAX

Kagiso Rapulana struck his second franchise century of the season as the bizhub Highveld Lions set up a potentially exciting climax to the 4-Day Franchise Series competition.

The Lions’ batsman’s unbeaten 114 in 166 balls (10x4s) enabled his team to compile 292/9 by the close of the third day of their match against the Warriors at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.

If the Lions declare overnight, they would set the Warriors 330 for victory in a minimum of 96 overs at a rate of 3.4 runs to the over, a tempting assignment on a pitch that, apart from the first morning, has remained excellent for batting.

A draw would mean nothing to the Lions so they must risk defeat to give themselves a chance of victory, banking on the Dolphins holding out for a draw against the log-leading Cobras in Pietermaritzburg.

Earlier, the Warriors resumed on their overnight total of 312/6, chasing the Lions’ first innings total of 440. Allrounder Thomas Kaber became the third batsmen to strike a half-century in the innings when he hit 85 (10x4s, 1x6) to help the Warriors to their final total of 403, only 37 runs in arrears.

Only two of the Warriors’ batsmen failed to reach double figures in an excellent collective effort.

The Warriors’ wickets were shared between Delano Potgieter (4/81), Malusi Siboto (4/91) and Bjorn Fortuin (2/67).

Quick runs were essential for the Lions when they started their second innings. Openers Stephen Cook and Dominic Hendricks put on a brisk half-century partnership but both fell victim to Sithembile Langa as did Wihan Lubbe who picked up a pair. Langa went on to take 5/61 in his franchise debut.

It was Rapulana who went on to anchor the innings, sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 81 with Temba Bavuma and 52 for the seventh wicket with first innings hero Delano Potgieter.

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 ABANDONED AGAIN

Play has been abandoned for the third consecutive day at Willowmoore Park in Benoni where the Multiply Titans have been scheduled to play their final 4-Day Franchise Series match against the VKB Knights.

A wet outfield has been the problem and an umpire’s inspection at midday on Wednesday confirmed that the conditions were not good enough for play.



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