Cape Town - Vernon Philander went past the landmark of 50 wickets for the first-class season on his way to career best figures of 7/61 on the second day of the SuperSport Series match between the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and the Chevrolet Knights at Sahara Park Newlands on Friday.
Philander has only played eight first-class matches this season but he has taken 30 wickets in four Sunfoil Test matches against Australia and Sri Lanka and a further 22 wickets in his four SuperSport Series appearances.
This includes five five-wicket hauls and he must be confident of taking his second 10-fer of the season as the second half of this match unfolds.
In spite of Philander’s outstanding form the Cobras have a lot of work to do to overtake the Knights’ first innings total of 345 which featured a second century on Friday when Rilee Rossouw batted through the remainder of his side’s innings to finish unbeaten on 144 (367 balls, 15 fours and a six). It was his 11th first-class century and his second this season.
The Cobras lost wickets at regular intervals in their reply and finished the day on 118/3 for an overall deficit of 227 runs with the pair at the crease, JP Duminy and Mark Boucher, both looking to play substantial innings ahead of next month’s Test match series in New Zealand.
Looking at the overall SuperSport Series picture the Cobras have only managed to score two bonus points so far (both for bowling) which places them less than a point ahead of the Nashua Titans.
The latter were washed out at Buffalo Park against the Chevrolet Warriors for the second day in a row but they could undo some of the damage if they can play for bonus points over the last two days and hope that the Knights continue to hold their own against the Cobras.
The other match between the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Sunfoil Dolphins at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead is evenly poised with the home side having made 198/3 in reply to the Lions’ total of 418 all out for an overall deficit of 220 runs.
The Dolphins were given a strong start by Imraan Khan and Divan van Wyk who put on 161 for the first wicket. The Lions then dismissed both these batsmen as well as in-form Vaughn van Jaarsveld but they still have work to do with Hashim Amla and David Miller at the crease.
The Lions will not need reminding that Amla scored a double century the last time these two teams met earlier in the season.
Chris Morris confirmed the promise he has started to show for the Lions as an all-rounder when he scored a quick-fire 62 (67 balls, 9 fours) and then took two of the three wickets to fall.
Earlier Kyle Abbott had completed a five-wicket haul for the Dolphins – the fourth of his first-class career.