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Ken Borland


Northerns may yet pay for dropped catches & not getting Hendricks & Van Buuren out

Posted on April 08, 2022 by Ken

With the surprise windfall of the CSA 4-Day Series title beckoning, the Northerns Titans may yet pay a heavy price for dropping four catches in the space of four overs bowled by ace off-spinner Simon Harmer on the third day of their match against the Central Gauteng Lions at Centurion on Sunday.

With a massive first-innings lead of 212 secured thanks to Theunis de Bruyn’s commanding 143, Northerns had reduced the Lions to a parlous 46/4 in their second innings, still 166 behind. But Reeza Hendricks and Mitchell van Buuren were then dropped twice each close to the bat off Harmer. De Bruyn missed both batsmen at slip, and Gihahn Cloete also gave them each a life at short-leg. Both fielders would have felt one of their misses was a half-chance.

But not getting them out then nevertheless proved extremely costly for the Titans, as Hendricks (73*) and Van Buuren (31*) batted the Lions through to stumps on 130/4 with an unbeaten stand of 84.

Lizaad Williams was outstanding with the new ball for Northerns, taking 2/5 in 11 overs that included six maidens.

With the Eastern Province Warriors unable to get on the field in Bloemfontein due to rain, Northerns gave themselves a great chance of stealing the four-day crown as they piled up 482 in their first innings.

The innings was built around De Bruyn’s epic six-hour knock, in which he faced 228 balls and played numerous great strokes to collect 14 fours and four sixes.

The Titans resumed the third day on 261/3 and there was solid batting all the way down the order with Sibonelo Makhanya scoring 35, Cloete 34, Jiveshan Pillay 21 and Aya Gqamane 17. But Corbin Bosch rather stole the show in the afternoon as he lashed a fiery 57 off just 65 balls.

Paceman Codi Yusuf put in an impressive, skilful effort with the ball, taking 5/91 in 28.5 overs.

From a Warriors point of view, it was a great pity that no play was possible on the third day of their match against the Free State Knights, with Eastern Province stranded on 166/3 in reply to the hosts’ first innings of 227.

Eastern Province already have more points (116.14) on the log than either the Lions (115.70) or Titans (113.56), but with Northerns eyeing victory at Centurion, the Warriors may need to pit themselves against the Knights in some sort of limited-overs contest within the match on the final day if they are to win the title.

In the other matches, a top-class 198 not out by opener Pieter Malan has led the Boland Rocks to 389/7 in reply to the KZN Dolphins’ total of 422, with a draw beckoning in Paarl.

At Newlands, it was a productive day for Western Province spinners George Linde (29-8-69-5) and Kyle Simmonds (14-5-24-4) as they bowled North-West out for 202 and enforced the follow-on.

North-West were 175/6 in their second innings at stumps, still facing a deficit of 199 runs. A pair of half-centuries by Wesley Marshall (58) and Senuran Muthusamy (67*) was keeping them barely afloat. Linde and Simmonds have each picked up another wicket.

Muthusamy also scored 53 in the North-West first innings, sharing a partnership of 58 for the fourth wicket with opener Lesego Senokwane (66), the biggest of the innings.

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