Late wickets cost Lions
Late drama over-shadowed a 99-run partnership between Thami Tsolekile and Brett Pelser that took the bizhub Highveld Lions from slight trouble to being in command late on the opening day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Chevrolet Warriors at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday. They ended on 275 for seven.
Live Scoring – Lions v Warriors
Tsolekile and Pelser started their partnership with the Lions not in an ideal position at 176 for five. They batted for 25 overs, and when Pelser finally departed, the Lions were in the comfortable position of being 275. The light was poor, but the new ball was allowed to be taken and after an Andrew Birch over claiming two wickets, bad light was called.
After Basheeru-Deen Walters and Birch were given the responsibility of the new ball after the Lions elected to bat first, Walters removed Gulam Bodi for 13 when he had the left-hander caught by Ashwell Prince. When Birch removed Temba Bavuma for seven, the Lions had their backs against the wall at 39 for two.
Lions veteran Neil McKenzie joined his captain Stephen Cook and the two in-form batsmen re-built the innings. The Lions reached their 50 in the 16th over as Cook and McKenzie continued to bat their side out of trouble. They managed their way to lunch without any difficulties, going into the break at 83 for two.
After lunch they kept the scoreboard ticking over, with Cook bringing up his 50 in 106 deliveries. The total then went past 100 with the pair still at the crease in the 34th over.
After 190 deliveries together at the crease, Cook and McKenzie notched a century partnership to take the total to a more respectable 139 for two. McKenzie scored his half-century from 122 deliveries.
The partnership was finally brought to an end by an Ayabulela Gqamane delivery that hit the pads of McKenzie. The umpire wasted no time in raising his finger and McKenzie was out for 50 from 155 deliveries.
De Bruyn joined his captain at the crease and immediately took the Lions past 150 in the 49th over, before Gqamane was in the action again. De Bruyn (five) hit a delivery to Prince for his second catch of the match.
With Cook approaching his century, Gqamane found a way through his defences to bowl the 30-year-old for 95 from 167 balls.
Tsolekile and Pelser went into tea hoping to build on their partnership in the final session. That’s exactly what they did. The pair brought up their 50 partnership in only 71 deliveries before Tsolekile went past 50 in 78 deliveries, including five fours and a six.
The new ball was taken after 80 overs, and it was tossed to Birch and Walters. The light was fading when Birch started the 83rd over, but he managed to break the partnership when Pelser was caught by Gqamane. Eddie Leie strode to the crease and hit his first ball to Harmer. The Lions went from 275 for five to 275 for seven in the space of two balls.
The end of a dramatic over also brought the end to the day's play as the umpires decided the light was not bright enough for the players to continue.
Gqamane and Birch were the pick of the Warriors bowlers. Gqamane's overall figures were 3-42 in 13 overs and Birch finished with 3-56 in 18 overs.
Chevrolet Warriors: ML Price, DJ Jacobs*, JT Smuts, AG Prince, A Jacobs, C Jonker, SR Harmer, A Gqamane, BD Walters, ACR Birch, GR Rabie, AZM Dyili†, KR Smuts, WD Parnell, CA Ingram
bizhub Highveld Lions:SC Cook*, GH Bodi, T Bavuma, ND McKenzie, Z de Bruyn, TL Tsolekile†, BJ Pelser, E Leie,Imran Tahir, GJP Kruger, P Matshikwe, E O'Reilly, D Pretorius, GC Viljoen, WA Deacon, Q de Kock, CH Morris, D Klein