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Ken Borland

Seven & eight put Highveld Lions in command

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Ken

The bizhub Highveld Lions had their number seven and eight to thank for converting a dominant opening day into a commanding position on the second day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.

The Lions resumed on 264 for two and centurion Stephen Cook and Neil McKenzie quickly rattled up a fifty partnership off just 54 balls before the second new ball allowed the Titans to strike back.

With JP de Villiers showing good pace and claiming three wickets in five balls, the Lions crashed from 311 for two to 313 for six, with Cook departing for a tremendously solid 122 and McKenzie for 47.

But Dwaine Pretorius and Dale Deeb kept their heads and took the Lions to 396 for six at lunch. Their progress thereafter was interrupted for nearly three hours by heavy thundershowers, but they had managed to both reach their half-centuries within two balls of each other shortly before the delay.

They took their partnership to 137 in 140 minutes before Pretorius was bowled by a Roelof van der Merwe arm-ball for a highly-creditable 67.

Deeb and Vusi Mazibuko (10*) then combined for a quickfire 35-run stand, Deeb finishing with a well-struck 89 not out, before the declaration on 485 for seven.

De Villiers was the pick of the Titans bowlers with three for 75 in 18 overs, while Rowan Richards was less consistent but claimed three for 118 in 26 overs.

Having spent an age off the field due to the weather, it was highly disappointing that the umpires did not extend the playing hours, taking the reluctant players off the field in bright sunshine at 5.30pm with the Titans on 27 without loss. The players were told it was because the allotted overs for the day had been bowled, which is laughable because only 64 overs were actually bowled.

Jacques Rudolph, who was a late inclusion in the Titans team after making himself available for four-day cricket, was looking solid on 18 not out, while Heino Kuhn was on seven.


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