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Ken Borland


Knights force Lions batsmen to sell wickets cheaply

Posted on March 10, 2014 by Ken

A brilliant all-round bowling display by the Knights forced the Highveld Lions batsmen to sell their wickets cheaply, but it wasn’t enough to secure victory for the Central franchise as bad light and rain left them to accept a draw in their four-day domestic series match at the Wanderers on Sunday.

The Lions had resumed their first innings on 54 for two on the final day, but the excellent, probing bowling of the Knights pacemen enabled them to tear through the home side’s batting line-up, dismissing them for a paltry 121 on the stroke of lunch.

Quinton Friend ran through the lower-order to finish with four for 35 in 13 overs, but it was cunning fast-medium bowler Malusi Siboto who made the most telling strikes by removing Devon Conway (10) and captain Stephen Cook (45) on his way to fine figures of two for 17 in 12 overs.

Off-spinner Werner Coetsee then struck twice in two overs to finish the Lions innings.

With the probing Knights bowling getting the most out of a Wanderers pitch that was producing some tricks, the Lions were under pressure to save the game as they came out to bat again after lunch in their follow-on innings, trailing by 208 runs with 72 overs left in the day.

Fast bowler Corne Dry then produced a vituperative opening spell in which he took two for two in six overs, having both Cook and Dominic Hendricks caught by the sharp Rilee Rossouw in the slips.

Temba Bavuma saw off the pacemen for the next hour, but Knights captain Coetsee dismissed him with his first ball in the second innings. The diminutive batsman had scored 25 when he pushed forward to a delivery that had some air, edging a low catch to slip which Rossouw claimed nonchalantly, making it look far easier than it was.

Neil McKenzie batted for 80 minutes with grim determination, scoring just three off 50 balls, while Conway joined him for half-an-hour, taking the Lions to 54 for three before the weather turned for the worse for the Knights.

Dark clouds first of all forced the players off for bad light at 2.50pm, followed by torrential rain which caused the match to be called off.

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