Sunfoil Series

Lions run out of time

2015-03-01 19:17
Hardus Viljoen (Gallo Images)

East London - The Highveld Lions were denied the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the Sunfoil Series table when bad light halted them with just 17 runs required for victory over the Warriors at Buffalo Park.

Chasing 98 to win the match after bowling the Warriors out for 272, the Lions overcame an early wobble to reach 81 for four with 14 overs still scheduled to be bowled.

However, the fading light made any further play impossible, forcing the Lions to settle for the draw and just 7.66 points.

That was still enough to see them extend their lead over the Titans by a couple of points, with the Titans’ defeat in Paarl leaving them 19.22 points adrift.

The Warriors picked up 4.74 points to reclaim fourth place, and were indebted to a century stand between Colin Ingram and Darryl Brown for extending the game so far.

After going into the final day on 81 for three, the Warriors lost Colin Ackermann and Luthando Mnyanda in one Hardus Viljoen over to slump to 100 for five, but then rallied as Ingram (52) and Brown (58) put on 100.

Chris Morris (3 or 53) was responsible for getting the Lions back on track by dismissing both batsmen in the space of two overs, before Viljoen (5 for 70) removed Simon Harmer and Andrew Birch.

At 240 for nine a swift end looked likely for the hosts, but Sisanda Magala and Basheeru-Deen Walters added what proved to be a crucial 32 for the final wicket before Viljoen wrapped up his 13th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

With 35 overs to reach their target, the Lions’ real race was against the light - even after Birch (4 for 13) stunned them with a four-wicket blitz in the opening nine overs that reduced the visitors to 33 for four.

Alviro Petersen’s 29 off 25 balls had already set them on their way, and Temba Bavuma (25 not out) and Thami Tsolekile (21 not out) looked set to finish the job until the darkness closed in.


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