Titans crumble under pressure
The Nashua Titans were reduced to 15 for two at stumps on day two in their second innings against the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in the Sunfoil Series match at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Friday, still trailing by 269 runs.
Live Scoring – Cape Cobras v Titans
The Cobras declared their first innings on 476 for eight, after Justin Kemp smashed three sixes off Shaun von Berg's 21st over. Kemp looked in pain throughout his innings, but will be able to bowl in the Titans' second innings.
Tumelo Bodibe was the first man out, caught at second slip by Kemp off the bowling of Johann Louw for four. At ten for one in the fifth over, the Titans sent in Tumi Masekela as the night-watchman.
But Masekela only lasted five balls, as Beuren Hedricks got a ball to nip back and rattle the tail-ender's offstump. Heino Kuhn strode to the crease and got off the mark with his first ball, as he pushed past mid-on for four.
Kuhn (4 not out) and Pieter Malan (6 not out) will resume on day three with a major battle on their hands to try and save this match. But the home side will be odds-on favourites to bag a full house of points from this encounter.
The home side resumed their innings after tea on 331 for three, with Stiaan van Zyl on 83 and Qaasim Adams on 26, with the pair already having added 40 runs for the fourth wicket.
Adams brought up the 50-run partnership in style, as he smashed CJ de Villiers into the Members Stand for six. At the 100 over mark, the Cobras had reached 349 for three.
Van Zyl missed out on a tenth First Class century when he drove at a ball from De Villiers and found a thick leading edge to be caught by Roelof van der Merwe at backward point for a well played 91. Van Zyl spent 221 minutes at the crease, striking ten boundaries and a six, in a partnership of 58 with Adams at a rate of 5.19 runs per over.
Adams brought up his first Sunfoil Series half century, and his tenth overall, off only 59 balls with seven fours and a six. Adams then swept Von Berg in front of square for four to bring up the 200-run lead for the Cape side.
Adams was eventually bowled by Von Berg for 66. His innings was full of flavour as he stroked seven boundaries and a six in his innings. The left-handed batsman shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 53 off 11 overs with his captain, Dane Vilas.
The leg-break bowling of Von Berg struck twice in the 116th over as he removed the Cobras captain and then sent Johann Louw back to the pavilion.
Vilas had just smashed Von Berg into the Members Stand for six, and then came down the track, only to offer a catch at backward point off a leading edge. Two balls later, Louw was caught at a short cover position, driving at a ball from Von Berg.
Vilas spent 69 minutes at the crease, striking three fours and a six in his knock of 36. At 423 for seven, the Cobras would have felt a little disappointed that they had opened the door slightly for the visitors.
Dane Piedt (16) was out, caught, off the bowling of Van der Merwe, trying to chase some runs. Kemp then scored 20 runs off Von Berg's 21st over, which then prompted the declaration from Vilas.
Von Berg was the most successful Titans bowler, claiming 3-115 while CJ de Villiers took 2-85. Rowan Richards, Roelof van der Merwe and David Wiese all chipped in with a wicket apiece.
Earlier in the day, Andrew Puttick had made a wonderful 126 and shared in two significant partnerships.
Firstly, a 169-run partnership with Alistair Gray (84) for the first wicket and then a 120-run partnership with Van Zyl for the second wicket.
The Titans had been asked to bat first on day one and were bundled out for 192 in their first innings. Van der Merwe top scored for the visitors with 61 while David Wiese weighed in with 58, as the pair shared a sixth wicket partnership of 117. Bodibe was the only other batsman to make double figures with 20.
Kemp claimed 5-45 while Louw, who claimed the wicket of Kuhn, finished the tail off and ended with 3-48. Vernon Philander left the field after claiming the wicket of Malan with a hamstring strain.
The Cobras hauled in 8.98 bonus points against the 2.84 of the Titans.
Report Day 1
Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras: Andrew Puttick, Alistair Gray, Stiaan van Zyl, Yaseen Vallie, Qaasim Adams, Dane Vilas (capt, w/k), Justin Kemp, Vernon Philander, Johan Louw, Dane Piedt, Beuran Hendricks.
Nashua Titans: Heino Kuhn (capt, w/k), Tumelo Bodibe, Rowan Richards, David Wiese, Jacques Rudolph, Shaun von Berg, Roelof van der Merwe, CJ de Villiers, Mangaliso Mosehle, Pieter Malan, Tumi Masekela