Bokako on song as War­riors over­come Lions

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - RACING - LUNGANI ZAMA

THE War­riors se­cured the first win of the sec­ond half of the Sun­foil Se­ries yes­ter­day, as their fre­netic clash against the Lions ended well in­side the third day.

Ul­ti­mately, the hosts fin­ished off the visi­tors for just 131, reg­is­ter­ing a re­mark­able, 29-run vic­tory in the process.

The Lions had en­tered the fi­nal day hope­ful of reach­ing their tar­get of 161, but the low scor­ing that has plagued the match held true for the fi­nal in­nings.

Skip­per Stephen Cook had fallen on the sec­ond evening, so the Lions’ hopes rested squarely on the shoul­ders of first in­nings top-scorer Rassie van der Dussen.

The lanky Van der Dussen again stood out, with a stern 40, but he was pow­er­less against a var­ied and per­sis­tent War­riors at­tack. Si­mon Harmer, who opened the bowl­ing, em­pha­sis­ing the low and slow na­ture of the pitch, added an­other three scalps to his first in­nings haul of three, but it was Tladi Bokako (pic­tured) who stole the head­lines for the East­ern Cape out­fit.

The seamer helped him­self to four for 15 in just 11 overs, as he per­sisted with a full and straight line. Nono Pon­golo added a dogged 20 to his 24 in the first dig, but he was pow­er­less to stop the War­riors.

Pon­golo was last man out, to skip­per JJ Smuts, to spark an equal mea­sure of re­lief and ela­tion in the home dress­ing-room.

In Bloem­fontein mean­while, Sarel Er­wee con­tin­ued his dom­i­nant sea­son with a ter­rific 108 not out, to hold up the Knights seem­ingly cer­tain charge to vic­tory. Hav­ing been forced to fol­low on af­ter ca­pit­u­lat­ing to 237 all out, the Dol­phins made a bet­ter fist of it sec­ond time around.

Er­wee, who has plun­dered for the Dol­phins in all for­mats this sea­son, raised 166 with open­ing part­ner Morne van Wyk. The vet­eran – and former Knights star – had reached 58 off 216 balls, when he and his part­ner were in­volved in yet an­other run-out.

Van Wyk’s de­par­ture saw Vaughn van Jaarsveld come to the crease, and he saw Er­wee through to his cen­tury. It took the left-han­der 210 balls to get there, but it was the near five hours that mat­tered more to the Dur­ban­ites.

The Dol­phins still trail by 54 runs, but they have a fur­ther nine wick­ets in the bag, and a day to sal­vage an un­likely draw against the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons. Er­wee will be look­ing to add con­sid­er­ably to his 108 on the fi­nal day.

In Pre­to­ria, the Ti­tans and the Co­bras look headed for a stale­mate, as both teams refuse to budge. The men from Cape Town hold a slight ad­van­tage, given their 82-run lead af­ter the first in­nings, but they will strug­gle to man­u­fac­ture a re­sult against the log-lead­ers.

The Ti­tans, who en­tered day three on 168 for three, were bowled out for 346, thanks to a de­but half cen­tury for Ri­valdo Moon­samy, and yet an­other vi­tal con­tri­bu­tion from Heino Kuhn.

Moon­samy, mak­ing his fran­chise four-day bow, notched a promis­ing 76 from 135 balls, stud­ding his knock with eleven bound­aries. Given his flu­ency at the crease, he would have been gut­ted not to go on and reg­is­ter a de­but cen­tury for the Ti­tans.

He and Kuhn fell the same way, caught be­hind off Lizaad Wil­liams, who ended with fig­ures of three for 76. Skip­per Dane Piedt, who had helped him­self to the first three scalps in the Ti­tans in­nings, got one more, to fin­ish with four for 81 from 28.4 overs.

The Ti­tans tail also wagged, with Malusi Si­boto chip­ping in with a re­spon­si­ble 38, El­dred Hawken a flu­ent 20, and Ju­nior Dala a steady 19, to inch the hosts closer to the Co­bras to­tal of 428.

On the fi­nal day, the men from the Cape will have to de­cide where the match goes.

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