Bailey and Van Wyk power Knights
Ryan Bailey and Morné van Wyk both scored centuries and featured in a 259-run partnership to power the Chevrolet Knights to an impressive 355 for seven at stumps on Thursday in their Sunfoil Series match against the Nashua Titans at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley.
Their partnership for the fifth wicket came off 377 balls in 267 minutes.
Ethy Mbhalati removed Van Wyk with the second new ball when he edged to second slip where Jacques Rudolph held onto the catch.
Van der Merwe faced 188 balls, smashing 19 fours and two sixes.
Bailey was still there at the close on 157.He faced 253 balls and hit 23 boundaries.
Bailey was dropped three times, and Van Wyk survived before he had opened his account when a straight forward opportunity went begging at point.
The inept fielding display by the Titans on a good batting strip allowed the hosts to get their four-day campaign off to a flyer.
Van Wyk drove the left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe straight down the ground for a boundary to reach his fifteenth ton, off 156 balls, with 14 fours and two sixes.
He and Bailey needed 151 balls to complete their century-stand, and their 200-run partnership came off 293 deliveries in 209 minutes.
The bowling attack looked innocuous and lacked both discipline and penetration.
Mbhalati was the one exception, as he produced both a probing line and length that tested the batsmen’s technique and temperament.
The visitors enjoyed the early advantage, and the hosts were in slight trouble on 59 for four during the morning spell.
Rowan Richards produced an excellent first spell in which he accounted for both Dean Elgar (2) and Werner Coetsee (4).
Elgar tried to make room to cut a delivery that was not short or wide enough to be hit for a square boundary, and he dragged it onto the stumps.
Coetsee was dropped on nought, but it didn’t prove costly. He top-edged Richards off a short delivery to mid-on, where CJ de Villiers completed a regulation catch when Coetsee was on four.
Mbahlathi’s excellent out-swinger was edged by Reeza Hendricks to the wicketkeeper, Heino Kuhn, and he departed for ten, leaving the Knights in dire straits on 16 for three.
Bailey and Obus Pienaar rallied and steered the Knights to 59 for three before Pienaar hit a long hop with a poor cut shot at ankle height to Pieter Malan at point.
The Titans let themselves down in the field, allowing Bailey and Van Wyk to establish a considerable partnership.
Van Wyk was dropped by Malan at point before he had scored.
Van der Merwe spilled a chance in the gully on 28 with Bailey the beneficiary. The Titans also dropped him with his score on 30 when Mbhalati misjudged a catch at fine-leg, and on 45, when Kuhn dived in front of first slip and dropped it.
Mbhalati was the pick of the attack, nipping out 4- 61 in 20 probing overs.
He was on a hat-trick in the 85th over when he had Van Wyk caught and Ryan McLaren caught behind with the very next delivery in McLaren’s 100th first-class appearance.
Mbhalati also removed Aubrey Swanepoel, acrobatically caught at fine leg by De Villiers for 16 with the score on 346 for seven.
Richards finished with 2-65 in 16 overs, and David Wiese collected 1-58 in 16 overs.
The left-arm spinner Paul Harris improved his control slightly after an expensive first spell and finished with 0-46 from 13 overs.
De Villiers was collared by Van Wyk and Bailey, finishing with 0-89 in 19 overs.
CHEVROLET KNIGHTS: Morné van Wyk (capt), Dean Elgar, Reeza Hendricks, Obus Pienaar, Ryan Bailey, Werner Coetsee, Ryan McLaren, Aubrey Swanepoel, Malusi Siboto, Quinton Friend, Dillon du Preez.
NASHUA TITANS: Henry Davids (capt), Jacques Rudolph, Tumelo Bodibe, Pieter Malan, Heino Kuhn, David Wiese, Paul Harris, CJ de Villiers, Ethy Mbhalati, Rowan Richards, Roelof van der Merwe.