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30 Nov 2009 15:58
The Cape Cobras and the Dolphins gave themselves welcome boosts on the log with their first SuperSport Series wins of the season, but they still have quite a bit of work to do to catch the frontrunners.
In Bloemfontein, the feature match of the weekend between champions Titans and perennial contenders Diamond Eagles, fizzled out to a draw, with the batsmen dominating the proceedings.
The Cobras did exceptionally well to undermine the Warriors batting twice in three days to complete an emphatic nine-wicket win with a day to spare.
Their seam bowling stood out, with Vernon Philander (seven wickets in the match), Rory Kleinveldt (four wickets) and Francois Plaatjies (seven wickets) never releasing the pressure on the visitors as the Warriors batsmen continued to display roller-coaster tendencies.
After burying the Diamond Eagles in East London the previous weekend with an imperious batting display, this time the Warriors succumbed in timid fashion, twice being dismissed for 143.
The Eastern Cape franchise has won two matches this season, but have twice been beaten inside three days.
The Cobras did well to eke out an important 97-run lead on the first innings and then knocked off the 47 required for victory with no problems.
The Dolphins delivered a solid display against the Highveld Lions in Johannesburg, achieving parity in the first innings - 353 to the Lions’ 359—and then dismissing their opponents for 226 on the final morning.
This left them with a challenging run-chase of 232 to win, but Loots Bosman showed his excellent form with a superb 100 not out to take them to a comfortable five-wicket triumph.
In Bloemfontein, on Sunday, Rilee Rossouw became the fourth centurion of the match, joining teammate Dean Elgar (110) and Titans batsmen Jacques Rudolph (192) and Farhaan Behardien (106) to ensure the match ended in a stalemate.
The Titans enjoyed a 64-run first innings lead, but that meant nothing as the promising Rossouw led the Eagles to a substantial second innings total of 345, leaving no time for the visitors to press for victory.
They were on 79 for one when played was called off.
Elgar continued his run-making ways this season with his fourth ton in the competition, while Rossouw hit his second SuperSport century of the season.—Sapa
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