Titans take step towards title
Cape Town - Faf du Plessis scored his third century in four matches to give the Titans a runaway start to their final SuperSport Series match against the Dolphins at SuperSport Park on Thursday.
Du Plessis and Heino Kuhn both scored centuries as the Titans racked up 473/9 declared in only 87.1 overs and then had an early breakthrough with the ball to have the Dolphins two wickets down for five runs on the board by the close of play.
It meant that the Titans picked up 7.46 batting points and are poised to pick up their first bowling point after an action-packed day.
Du Plessis (157 off 162 balls, 15 fours and four sixes) really picked up the scoring rate for the Titans after Kuhn (128 off 143 balls, 17 fours and a six) had laid the foundation in a second-wicket partnership of 102 in 21 overs with Martin van Jaarsveld.
Kuhn and Du Plessis added 110 for the fourth wicket in 16 overs and Du Plessis and Henry Davids 156 for the fifth wicket in 28 overs.
Rowan Richards and Ethy Mbhalati then completed a highly satisfactory day for the Titans with a wicket each from the 10 balls that were possible before stumps were called.
The Cape Cobras, who went into their final match against the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers with the slenderest of leads over the Titans, had to overcome the combined obstacles of some poor weather conditions and some determined batting by their hosts.
The day’s play was restricted to 73 overs with the Lions finishing on a fairly comfortable 228/4 thanks in the main to a second wicket partnership of 131 between Alviro Petersen (93) and Gulam Bodi (73).
For once Vernon Philander failed to take a wicket and it was left to the two spinners, Dane Piedt and Alistair Gray, to give the Cobras some late encouragement. Piedt got rid of both Petersen and Bodi and then Gray produced a real bonus when he dismissed Neil McKenzie shortly before the close of play.
The Knights had to rely on their lower-order once again to get them out of trouble against the Warriors at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
At one stage they were 103/7 before Ryan McLaren (74 not out) and Johan van der Wath (79) transformed the total to 240 all out.
Gurshwin Rabie, who has been taking a packet of wickets for SWD in the three-day provincial competition, was the most successful bowler with figures of 4/69.
The Warriors probably held a slight advantage at the close of play (79/2) but there is not a great deal in it.