Cape Town - The Knights closed out the day at the halfway mark of their Sunfoil
Series clash with the Warriors at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein
firmly in the driving seat, 187 runs ahead with only three wickets still
After amassing a mammoth 431 in their first dig thanks to a stunning
Rudi Second 152 and a free flowing 83 from Rilee Rossouw, the Knights
bowlers ripped through the Warriors top order before Simon Harmer (64*)
and Sisanda Magala (44*) dragged their side from 159 for seven to 244
for seven at the close of play.
Marchant de Lange was the destroyer in chief early on and finished the
day with figures of 4-66. Along with Duane Olivier (3-61),
fresh from his confidence boosting test debut against Sri Lanka at the
Wanderers, the two quicks were simply too good for the men from the
Eastern Cape with the new ball.
The Warriors’ top run scorer this season, Colin Ackermann was dismissed
by a great piece of bowling from Olivier for just 23 in between two
ducks from Gihahn Cloete and Lesiba Ngoepe courtesy of de Lange. At 50
for three the away side was in a heap of trouble.
Some resistance was offered by opener Edward Moore who returned to
franchise cricket with a gutsy 56. Unfortunately he received little help
from the other end as wicket after wicket made the mountain his side
were climbing look taller by the over.
Yaseen Vallie (17) and Somila Seyibokwe (11) were De Lange’s third and
fourth victims of the day on either side of Moore’s dismissal; caught
Mnyanda, bowled Olivier.
The rearguard fightback was initiated by Harmer who once again proved
his all-round worth to go along with figures of 4-90 with the ball.
He was ably supported by Sisanda Magala was aggressive throughout his
stay. The two lower-order batsmen must have been wondering what all the
fuss was about as they picked apart the two Knights back up bowlers in
stand worth 85 for the eighth wicket.
Seamer Mbulelo Budaza and finger spinner Akhona Kula could not match the
brilliance of their two front liners and went at 5.3 and 4.1 to the
over respectively and must have left Nicky Boje fuming that the early
pressure did not translate into a cheap skittling of the opposition.
Earlier in the day, the home side picked up where they left off and
aggressively targeted the Warriors bowlers, helped largely by a
wonderful platform set by Rudi Second.
The Knights batsman went past the 100 mark for the second match in a row
after his 125 against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Kimberly last time
out. This time, he raised his bat for a third time in a brilliant knock
of 152. He fell just before the close of play yesterday but the damage
Before him, Rilee Rossouw showed just what South African cricket is
going to miss when he heads off to England on a Kolpak deal by
bludgeoning 83 from just 96 deliveries before Simon Harmer beat his
defences to trap him lbw.
At the tea break today, the Warriors were staring down the barrel at 131 for five and 300 runs behind.
They’re not quite out of the fire yet but two superb contributions down
the order gives them a slim hope of achieving parity. Facing up to
Olivier and de Lange after a full night’s rest will be a different
matter entirely but Harmer and his troops will sleep a little easier
themselves after a great last session.