SuperSport Series

Philander on song for Cobras

2012-02-02 18:04
Vernon Philander (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Vernon Philander struck four times with the second new ball in the space of six overs to bring the Cape Cobras back into contention in their SuperSport Series match against the Knights at Newlands on Thursday.

The Knights, who had won the toss, had built up a very strong position as Reeza Hendricks (124 off 245 balls, 19 fours and a six) and Rilee Rossouw (88 not out off 224 bals, 9 fours and a six) added 178 for the second wicket in 60 overs.

But Philander changed the momentum of the game when he had Hendricks caught behind by Mark Boucher and then bowled the trio of Boeta Dippenaar, Morne van Wyk and Werner Coetsee who were only able to contribute 5 runs between them.

It meant that the Knights finished the day on 248/5 with Philander having the outstanding figures of 4/42 in 20 overs.

The pitch was on the slow side and did not offer the bowlers much encouragement which made Philander’s effort even more special.

It was Hendricks’s seventh career century and his first this season.

Rossouw also showed a timely return to form and the Knights will be looking to him to lead them through to a substantial total.

The Knights’ lower-order has performed impressively this season and they still have reliable batting to support Rossouw in the likes of Ryan McLaren, Aubrey Swanepoel and Johan van der Wath.

The Cobras will be hoping for a third bowling point in the remaining four overs. For the moment they have gone ahead of the Titans at the top of the log as the latter had a frustrating first day at Buffalo Park against the Warriors with no play being possible at all.

The other team in contention for the SuperSport Series crown, the Highveld Lions, made an excellent start to their match against the Dolphins at Kingsmead. Both Neil McKenzie and Temba Bavuma made centuries in sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 228 that enabled the Lions to finish the day on a comfortable 303/6.

McKenzie (108 off 214 balls, 11 fours and a six) made his 44th first-class century and in the process also took his career aggregate past the 16 000 mark.

Bavuma (121 off only 160 balls, 13 fours) completed his fifth first-class century, three of which have come in this season’s SuperSport Series and the last two of them in his last three matches. He has the impressive average for the season of 55.

Kyle Abbott (4/62) was the most successful bowler while another relative newcomer, Mthokozisi Shezi, made the early inroads by taking two wickets up front. He has now taken 15 wickets in three-and-a-half matches which compares well with the acknowledged champion, Philander, who has taken 18 wickets from his three-and-a-half matches.

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