Tsolekile rescues Lions
Thami Tsolekile (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Thami Tsolekile
hit a half-century to help the Highveld Lions to recover from a poor start on the opening day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Dolphins at the Wanderers on Thursday. Full scorecard
The Lions were bowled out for 265 shortly before the close and the Dolphins replied with seven without loss off the three overs possible before bad light stopped play.
The Dolphins won the toss and sent the Lions into bat. The choice seemed justified when the hosts were left struggling on 57 for four at lunch. Quinton de Kock, who made a magnificent 194 against the Cape Cobras in Potchefstroom last week, was unable to repeat his stellar performance and was bowled by Craig Alexander in the second over for four runs.
De Kock’s opening partner, Stephen Cook, was also out early, caught at third slip by David Miller off Kyle Abbott for one in the seventh over.
Zander de Bruyn and Neil McKenzie
tried to restore some stability to the Lions’ innings with a partnership of 25 until Abbott and Alexander combined to remove them both within four balls. Abbott trapped McKenzie leg before wicket for four and, in the next over, De Bruyn was caught behind by Daryn Smit off Alexander for 27.
The Lions managed to pull things together after lunch, adding 75 runs for the loss of just one wicket - that of Gulam Bodi
, who was bowled for 11 by Robbie Frylinck. His departure brought Tsolekile to the crease and his arrival immediately signalled an improvement in the Lions’ fortunes. He and Temba Bavuma shared a fifth wicket partnership of 68, with Tsolekile taking the lead. Their 50-run partnership came off 109 balls, and included 10 boundaries, eight of which were struck by Tsolekile.
Alexander ended the partnership when he had Bavuma caught behind by Smit for 30, including four fours.
Chris Morris joined Tsolekile and together they put on 45 runs before Tsolekile went lbw to Abbott for 15.
Hardus Viljoen smashed 19 runs off 17 balls, hitting three fours and a six to take the Lions past 200, but his merry innings was short-lived. Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Smit combined to run him out as he went for a suicidal second run and was left completely stranded.
Imran Tahir and Pumi Matshikwe fought a fine rearguard action with a partnership of 55 at a run a ball. It was once again Abbott who broke the partnership when Matshikwe was given out lbw for 29, to have the Lions all out for 265. Tahir was not out on 27.
Abbott was the pick of the Dolphins bowlers, taking four for 43. Alexander took three for 64 and Frylinck two for 61.