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Cricket | 4-Day Franchise Series 2018/19

Malusi Siboto © Gallo Images

Lions win thriller to clinch trophy

The bizhub Highveld Lions almost literally stole the 4-Day Franchise Series from the WSB Cape Cobras in a remarkable climax to the first-class cricket season at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Thursday.

Full Scorecard

The Lions knew they had to beat the Warriors to give themselves a chance of winning the competition, and they declared their second innings overnight in order to gives themselves as much time as possible to bowl out their opponents.

The Warriors’ task was to score 330 in a minimum of 96 overs, a tempting target on a pitch that for much of the match had looked full of runs.

Malusi Siboto gave the Lions early hope with the new ball when he picked up the wickets of both openers, Ed Moore and Matthew Breetzke, to reduce the Warriors to 18/2, and then Lesiba Ngoepe (61/3).

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But by mid-afternoon Yaseen Vallie and Sinethemba Qeshile seemed to have restored the equilibrium of the innings. A brief shower sent the players off the field and they took an early tea.

From thereon in, the tide flowed for the Lions.

After Siboto’s early successes, it was Lions’ captain Nandre Burger who played the most prominent role among the Lions’ bowlers, taking the key wickets of Vallie for 74, to end a fourth-wicket partnership of 85, and then Qeshile for 39 in consecutive overs to peg the Warriors back to 155/5. He then returned to dismiss Marco Marais for 22 and Basheeru Walters for the same score for overall figures of 4/72 in 22 overs.

The tension was now rising as time was running out for the Lions. With the clouds getting darker, the light was beginning to fail and part-time offspinner Wihan Lubbe was forced to bowl the penultimate over of the match. Up until now, Lubbe had had a disappointing match with the top-order batsman picking up a pair.

But he would have instantly forgotten about that when, with his third delivery, he grabbed the final wicket, bowling Sithembile Langa for eight and clinching victory with nine balls to spare.

The win gained the Lions 26.8 bonus points (10.8 for batting and bowling and 16 for the win), enabling them to beat the Cobras by 9.22 points. In all, they won seven matches, drew one and lost two while the Cobras, who had led the log for the entire season until now, had won six, lost two and drawn two, the last of which was on the flattest of pitches in Pietermaritzburg when they were unable to beat the Dolphins.

The player of the match was Bjorn Fortuin who struck a double century in the Lions’ first innings of 440.

Report Day 1
Report Day 2
Report Day 3

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


The 4-Day Franchise Series match between the Hollywoodbets Dolphins and the WSB Cape Cobras was called off as a draw at tea on the final day at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.

Full Scorecard

At that stage the life had long gone out of the match as the Dolphins reached 358/2 in their second innings, an overall lead of 145, on one of the flattest pitches ever produced at The Oval.

The Cobras, who accumulated a total of 14.54 points for the result (8.54 bonus points and six for the draw), will win this year’s competition by a slender 0.78 of a point if the Lions are unable to force victory over the Warriors in their match in Potchefstroom. In that game, the Lions accumulated 10.8 bonus points, but the Cobras went into the final round of matches with a lead of 3.04 points.

Resuming on 66 without loss in their second innings, the Dolphins only lost two wickets in the first two sessions on a surface that became less and less sympathetic to the bowlers. Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Michael Erlank put on 169 for the first wicket in the morning before both men were dismissed on that score, Van Jaarsveld (79) to part-timer Pieter Malan and Erlank (85) to Dane Piedt.

Thereafter, Marques Ackerman and Khaya Zondo added a further 189 in 43.2 overs – many of them delivered by part-time bowlers – with Ackerman finishing on 89 and Zondo on 88.

Zubayr Hamza was named player of the match for his 201 in the Cobras’ first innings of 523/7 declared.

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


The 4-Day Franchise Series match between the Multiply Titans and the VKB Knights has been abandoned without a ball being bowled.

A wet outfield prevented play on each of the first three days and the umpires called the entire match off on Thursday morning.


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