Cape Town - A career-best haul by Lungi Ngidi helped the Titans dominate the opening day of their Sunfoil Series clash against the Highveld Lions at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday.
The Proteas fast bowler, returning after a lengthy injury lay-off, took an outstanding six for 37 in 13 overs as the hosts were dismissed for 180 in the round five encounter, which is the final one before four-day cricket has a break.
New national opener and visiting captain Aiden Markram then struck an unbeaten 49 to enable his side to reach the close on 96 for two – just 84 behind the home side.
It capped a fine day for the Titans in their Gauteng derby and they would have been particularly pleased after losing the toss and being put in to field first.
Ngidi’s six-for led the way as the fast bowler, playing his first match since suffering a back injury in June, improved on his five for 39 taken against the Dolphins last season.
His initial burst left the Lions on seven for three before they somewhat recovered through Bjorn Fortuin’s fighting 80 (152 balls, 13 fours) and 63 (130 balls, 9 fours) from Omphile Ramela.
The two were the only men to get double figures, with Shaun von Berg (3/42) offering fine support for star man Ngidi.
Markram’s fellow Proteas opener Dean Elgar (34) helped put on 80 for the first wicket, before Aya Myoli’s two for 29 gave the hosts some hope heading into day two.