Honours even in Benoni
Fanie Heyns - SuperSport
Johannesburg - Justin Ontong guided the Nashua Cape Cobras to 158/3 at stumps on
Friday in their SuperSport Series match after the visitors, with their
veteran left-arm spinner Claude Henderson playing a pivotal role,
earlier limited the Nashua Titans to 313 in their first innings at
Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
Ontong (21, 56 balls, 1x4) and Ryan Canning (11, 21 balls, 2x4) will resume on Saturday.
The match is evenly poised at this stage.
The Cobras would have been concerned about the state of injuries
in their camp. Unusually, two of their top-order batsmen suffered
injuries early in their innings and had to retire hurt.
Stiaan van Zyl was hit on the hand by a delivery from Hardus
Viljoen while on six, while Justin Kemp hit a delivery from the fast
bowler CJ de Villiers onto his hand with the first delivery he
received. Both had to leave the field.
Earlier, Henderson stemmed the flow of runs, removed the
centurion Jacques Rudolph for 110 and then demolished the middle- and
lower order to finish with a remarkable 7/108 in 30.3 overs of superb
The Cobras started briskly, and Omphile Ramela (24, 77 balls,
4x4) and Andrew Puttick (62, 95 balls, 9x4) added 86 runs for the first
wicket in 22.4 overs.
Roelof van der Merwe struck an early blow for the Titans when he accounted for Ramela with his arm ball, trapping him in front.
The stylish left-hander Puttick was next to go. He scored a
century in a 333-run opening partnership with Graeme Smith in the first
round of SuperSport Series matches and looked in good nick again.
But he took the aerial route against Viljoen and was caught in the covers by Shaun von Berg as the Cobras slipped to 112/2.
Richard Levi did not last long. He hit a couple of superb
boundaries before he was trapped in front by De Villiers for 18 (35
balls, 3x4) with the score on 141.
Van der Merwe finished with 1/43 from 14 overs.
Viljoen took 1/46 in 13 overs. De Villiers, new recruit of the Knights, captured 1/26 in nine overs.
Rudolph (110, 195 balls, 16x4, 1x6), Farhaan Behardien and Van
der Merwe (50, 74 balls, 9x4) played major batting roles for the
But Henderson took charge after he dismissed Rudolph by having
him caught by Richard Levi. He then removed Behardien (72, 142 balls,
9x4, 1x6) when Behardien tried to loft him over the long-on boundary,
only to find the safe hands of Charl Langeveldt.
Behardien and Rudolph added 134 runs in 168 minutes off 242 deliveries for the third wicket.
Once Henderson took those two, the middle order and lower order
could not find answers to his deceptive guile and superb lengths.
He trapped Faf du Plessis in front for six. After lunch, he took three of the final four wickets.
Henderson’s 7/108 was no big surprise. The 38-year-old displayed excellent form for Leicestershire the past season.
The swing bowler Charl Langeveldt captured 2/74 in 25 excellent overs, while Vernon Philander took 1/44 in 22 overs.
Nashua Titans: Jacques Rudolph (captain), Blake
Snijman, Gulam Bodi, Pieter Malan, Faf du Plessis, Farhaan Behardien,
Pierre Joubert, JJ Pienaar, Hardus Viljoen, David Wiese, Ethy Mbhalati,
Shaun von Berg.
Nashua Cape Cobras: Justin Kemp (captain),
Puttick, Stiaan van Zyl, Justin Ontong, Richard Levi, Ryan Canning,
Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Claude Henderson, Monde Zondeki,