Titans make steady progress in SuperSport series
The Titans took a significant leap forward, while the Diamond Eagles and the Cape Cobras were forced into rearguard actions to avoid defeat in the weekend’s round of SuperSport Series matches.
The Titans will play the Warriors twice in Port Elizabeth this season following the Benoni pitch debacle last month, and Pierre Joubert’s team laid down a marker with an emphatic victory inside three days in the first encounter this weekend.
Playing away again should hold no fears for them, although in their next match in December, they will undoubtedly be without key bowlers Morne Morkel and Paul Harris who should be on Test duty.
Nonetheless, the Titans will have a spring in their step as they go about defending the four-day title, while the Warriors will be licking their wounds as they ponder where it all went wrong.
When it mattered most, the Warriors batsmen were simply not up to the challenge and unless they can find a solution and turn promising starts into significant match-winning contributions, they will continue to flatter to deceive.
The Highveld Lions will be desperately disappointed at not clinching a much-needed victory against the Cape Cobras in Cape Town.
A brilliant 122 not out from Alviro Petersen set them up for a push for victory and English spinner Monty Panesar almost drove their advantage home with four wickets as the Cobras slumped to 96 for seven.
But then Ryan Canning found a willing and determined partner in Rory Kleinveldt and they held the rampant Lions at bay to secure a draw, finishing on 135 for seven.
In Durban, the Diamond Eagles hit back after a poor first innings of 178 which saw the Dolphins take a very handy lead of 197.
But when the visitors batted again, Dean Elgar continued his superb form in the four-day competition this season, hitting 110 not out, his third SuperSport century of the season, as the Diamond Eagles denied the Dolphins bowlers further success to end on 203 for three.
The Warriors remain in second place on the log, but the Titans have stretched their lead to 15 points and are again proving the pace-setters in the competition.
The latest logs are (matches in brackets): Titans 48,90 (4), Warriors 33,84 (4), Highveld Lions 29,48 (4), Diamond Eagles 27,04 (3), Dolphins 26,62 (4), Cape Cobras 17,00 (3).—Sapa