Lions coast to victory

2011-12-30 15:18

Johannesburg - Half centuries from Jonathan Vandiar and Stephen Cook helped the bizhub Highveld Lions surge to a nine-wicket win over the Nashua Titans midway through the final day of their SuperSport Series match at Sahara Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.

Vandiar ended unbeaten on 81 off 113 deliveries, while Cook, who made a century in the first innings, finished not out on 71 off 120 balls as the visitors chased down the 158-run victory target with relative ease.

The win enabled them to avenge their 243-run loss to the same opponents earlier this season, although they remained behind their Pretoria rivals on the log standings.

The Lions had resumed after lunch on 95 for one, but only eight overs were bowled before rain arrived to slow up proceedings.

However, they still managed to take their score to 136 in that time, without any further damage in the wickets column.

Cook and Vandiar brought up the 100 partnership in 108 balls, with Cook later going to his 34th career half century from 89 deliveries with rain and bad light then stopping play.

But after a brief delay, the remaining 22 runs were knocked off swiftly as the Lions surged to a second win of the season when they reached 159 for one in 39.2 overs.

Earlier, the hosts added 47 runs for their remaining two wickets thanks mainly to an Albie Morkel burst that produced 35 in 47 balls.

They eventually ended on 210 all out with Eddie Leie the pick of the bowlers having taken five for 53, with the final two wickets to fall going to Chris Morris (3/74) and Cliffe Deacon (2/45).

Resuming the day on 163 for eight, Morkel knew he had to score quickly as he was fast running out of partners.

He smashed two sixes and three fours in his knock, but shortly after seeing the Titans cross 200, he lost Paul Harris (14), who was bowled by Deacon.

One ball later, the all-rounder picked out Neil McKenzie with a Morris delivery leaving his team all out in 46.1 overs.

Morkel then struck early in the reply to give the home side hope when he cleaned up the in-form Proteas opener Alviro Petersen for a fourth-ball duck.

But Cook, who made 109 in the first innings, and Vandiar looked good together as they took the Lions past 50 in the 15th over.

Vandiar went to his 10th career half-century from 71 balls, before then seeing team to lunch strongly placed with only 63 more to get.