Trio notch up fifties to give Lions the edge
Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie and Zander de Bruyn all hit half centuries as the bizhub Highveld Lions reached 332 for seven at the end of day one of their Sunfoil Series match against the Chevrolet Knights at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
De Kock opened the batting with Stephen Cook, but when the Lions captain was caught behind from a Johan van der Wath delivery for eight, the home side found themselves in early trouble at 26 for one.
De Kock and Temba Bavuma looked comfortable at the crease as the run-rate remained around five to the over. The Lions 50 was brought up in just 65 deliveries and the two batsmen looked fluent throughout the morning session.
In the 17th over, the pair's partnership went past the 50 mark, from 58 deliveries. In the next over another milestone was brought up as De Kock passed 50 from 60 deliveries, including 11 fours.
The 20-year-old continued his boundary hitting in the 22nd over, as he hit Quinton Friend for three fours to bring up the Lions' 100 in the process.
On the stroke of lunch, Van der Wath broke the 88-run partnership when Bavuma was caught by Ryan Bailey for 18.
McKenzie started the second session with three boundaries in the first two overs, but the break proved detrimental to De Kock’s concentration as he was bowled Malusi Siboto for 85 from 102 deliveries, including an incredible 18 fours.
The Lions' run-rate dropped when McKenzie and Zander de Bruyn were at the crease. The Lions' 150 was brought up in the 40th over as the pair continued to build a total.
Milestones came either side of lunch -- McKenzie went from 49 to 53 just before lunch with his 12th boundary of his innings, facing 99 deliveries, and the over after the break saw the Lions total pass 200.
McKenzie finally departed for 73 when he hit a Ryan McLaren delivery to Obus Pienaar. His innings included 15 fours.
Thami Tsolekile then joined De Bruyn and the Lions went past 250, followed by the pair reaching their 50 partnership from 63 deliveries.
De Bruyn departed for 63 with the score on 290, Van der Wath claiming his third wicket of the innings. Not long after De Bruyn, Brett Pelser was dismissed for 10 as well as Imran Tahir for 14, both dismissed by Siboto.
Tsolekile (44*) and Garnett Kruger (3*) took the home side to the close of play.
Van der Wath was Knights' best bowler with figures of 3-57 in 19, with Siboto claiming 3-69 from 17 overs.
BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: SC Cook (capt), Q de Kock, ND McKenzie, T Bavuma, Z de Bruyn, TL Tsolekile, BJ Pelser, I Tahir, GJP Kruger, P Matshikwe, E Leie
CHEVROLET KNIGHTS: MN Erlank, RS Second, RR Rossouw, RT Bailey, AJ Pienaar, R McLaren (capt), WL Coetsee, JJ van der Wath, SC van Schalkwyk, Q Friend, MP Siboto