Lions fall agonizingly short of unlikely win
The bizhub Highveld Lions came within a whisker of an unlikely win over the Nashua Titans at the BidVest Wanderers Stadium in their Sunfoil Series match on Sunday.
Full Scorecard – Lions v Titans
The hosts fell just three wickets short of clinching victory as bad weather and bad light marred play for the third consecutive day.
The Titans ended on 137-7 in their second innings, still trailing by 46.
After putting 303 on the board in their first innings, thanks to handy knocks from Dominic Hendricks 74 (135), Temba Bavuma 62 (73) and Zander de Buyn 65 (140), the Lions rattled the Titans in their reply.
The second day of the match was completely washed out due to rain, with just two balls possible, and the Titans returned on Saturday, looking steady with a 44-run partnership at the top of the order between Pieter Malan and Jacques Rudolph.
Everything soon came undone, though, as the visitors collapsed in a heap, going from 42-0 in the first session to 115-8 by the close of play on day three as Cliffe Deacon and De Bruyn ran riot.
When play resumed on the final morning after another delay due to bad light, the defending champions were dismissed for 120, with not a single batsman passing 25.
The Lions subsequently enforced the follow-on and despite being dealt an early blow as Pieter Malan fell in the third over, clean bowled by Chris Morris, Jacques Rudolph and Henry Davids guided their side to lunch on 66-1 as the visitors looked to salvage a draw.
Then it was back to business for the Titans as wickets started to fall left, right and centre with Rudolph departing soon after the break and Davids following after he scored 41 off 66.
Heino Kuhn and David Wiese both struggled to get going and before long the Titans were in a familiar place of discontent again, stuck on 119-5 with their second innings heading in the same direction as their first.
Bad light then intervened and the heavens opened up resulting in a long delay.
The players returned for a quick burst in which the Lions bagged two more wickets with Roelof van der Merwe and Shaun von Berg both falling cheaply, Morris and Hardus Viljoen this time being the destroyers.
Bad light intervened yet again and no further play was possible as the match was drawn. Mangaliso Mosehle was unbeaten on 30 and Juan de Villiers on 0.
Report Day 1
Report Day 2
Report Day 3
BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: Stephen Cook (capt), Dominic Hendricks (wk), Temba Bavuma, Neil McKenzie, Zander De Bruyn, Thami Tsolekile, Brett Pelser, Cliffe Deacon, Chris Morris, Hardus Viljoen, Imran Tahir.
NASHUA TITANS: Jacques Rudolph, Pieter Malan, Henry Davids (capt), Heino Kuhn, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), David Wiese, Shaun Von Berg, Ehty Mbhalati, Juan de Villiers, Rowan Richards, Roelof van der Merwe.