World record for Cobras' Vilas
Cape Town - Dane Vilas achieved a world best wicketkeeping performance when he played an innings of more than 150 and completed 10 dismissals behind the stumps as the Cape Cobras overwhelmed the Knights by an innings and 54 runs at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Saturday.
Scorecard: Knights v Cobras
Scorecard: Titans v Warriors
It is a result that carries the Cobras well clear of the Knights at the top of the log with an excellent chance of retaining their SuperSport Series title for the third successive year.
The Titans should finish right on the heels of the Cobras if they complete an expected victory over the Warriors at Willowmoore on Sunday but the Cobras have a game in hand over both the Titans and the Knights.
They make up the bye next weekend against the struggling Dolphins at Maritzburg when the other two sides will both be inactive.
Vilas provided the sixth instance in the history of the first-class game of a wicketkeeper scoring a century and making 10 dismissals in the same match but he provides the only instance of a batsman making more than 150. Two of the other wicketkeepers on that list are all-time greats - the Australian duo of Rod Marsh and Adam Gilchrist.
He finished on 187 in a performance that also included a South African record eighth wicket stand of 257 with Robin Peterson.
This was one run better than the partnership between Stephen Fleming and James Franklin for New Zealand against the Proteas at Newlands in 2006.
Remarkably, the 26-year-old Vilas has gone big with the bat every time he has made a century at franchise level. Earlier this season he made 161 not out against the Titans and he has a career best double century against the same opposition for the Highveld Lions.
The other big contributor to the Cobras’ success on what turned out to be the last day was their captain, Justin Kemp, who claimed 5 wickets (to go with his 2 in the first innings), three of them being caught by Vilas.
The Knights were not helped by the knee injury suffered by Dean Elgar while bowling his fifth ball in the Cobras’ first innings. He was not able to bat in the second innings.
The Titans set the Warriors an improbable target of 456 for victory on the back of a century by Henry Davids in their second innings - the ninth of his first-class career.
It has been a wonderful match for Albie Morkel and Faf du Plessis who both scored centuries in the first innings and half-centuries in the second. They also shared 7 wickets in the Warriors’ first innings.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe, making his first-class debut of the season, warmed up impressively for the One-Day Series against Sri Lanka with 7 wickets in the match.
Another Proteas speedster, Marchant de Lange, put the Warriors under early pressure when he captured two wickets in his first two overs.
Jon-Jon Smuts fought a virtual lone hand for the Warriors. Earlier in the match he had completed 3 000 first-class runs.
The Warriors finished the day on 155/6, still 301 short of their target with Smuts unbeaten on 89 (108 balls, 15 fours).