Bavuma keeps Warriors at bay

2012-01-14 17:56

Port Elizabeth - The Warriors, trailing by 179 runs on the first innings, threatened to turn their SuperSport Series match against the Highveld Lions at St. George’s on Saturday on its head during a hectic day in which the home side lost their last six wickets for 18 runs and then the Lions lost their first five in the second innings for just 20 runs.

It needed 21-year-old Temba Bavuma to bring a bit of sanity to the proceedings. Having scored 147 in the Lions’ first innings he finished unbeaten on 48 in the second innings when bad light brought an early close to proceedings.

It took the Lions’ lead to exactly 300 runs with four wickets in hand and this is a match that could still go either way.

Although Bavuma has a career first-class average in the high 30s he has certainly put down his marker in this season’s SuperSport Series in which he has averaged more than 51 with two centuries.

The batting collapse on both sides was all the remarkable in that it followed a period of high scoring in which Alviro Petersen and Bavuma both scored centuries for the Lions and then the Warriors trio of Jon-Jon Smuts, Ashwell Prince and Arno Jacobs all went close to three figures as well.

The wickets were shared around on both sides with Rusty Theron achieving the landmark of 150 first-class dismissals when he removed Neil McKenzie.

Meanwhile, the Cape Cobras stayed comfortably on course for another victory when they took a lead of 240 on the first innings against the Dolphins at the Maritzburg Oval and then batted on to set the Dolphins an unlikely victory target of 401.

Stiaan van Zyl (71 not out, 114 balls, 7 fours) was well on his way to his second century of the match when the declaration came with two wickets down.

In the 25 overs possible before the close of play the Cobras used Siya Simetu and Dane Piedt to send down 20 overs of spin with the Dolphins knocking 40 runs off their target without loss.