Shezi sinks the Titans
Mthokozisi Shezi took 4-47 as the Sunfoil Dolphins blasted the Nashua Titans out for just 218 in reply to the visitors' massive 456 in the Sunfoil Series clash at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday, a deficit of 238 runs.
Dolphins skipper Daryn Smit opted to not enforce the follow-on and the KZN franchise reached 68 for two at the close of play on day two, a lead of 306 with eight wickets in hand.
It was yet another bad day at the office for the Titans, as last year's defending four-day champions relinquished the title to new champs, the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, without winning so much as a single game to date.
After resuming on 326 for six overnight, Smit combined brutally with the tail in the morning session as the Titans struggled to finish the job, conceding 148 runs off 27 overs for the final four wickets. Smit muscled his way to 79 off 76 balls, striking nine fours and three sixes in his 127-minute stay at the crease.
The platform for the imposing total was laid on day one by Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who crafted a superb 101 after Smit won the toss and opted to bat first in warm and humid conditions.
Imraan Khan (46), Cody Chetty (49), Jon Vandiar (41) and Keshav Maharaj (30) all contributed as the Titans bowlers toiled long and hard for wickets, with Marchant De Lange and Roelof van der Merwe
picking up 3-81 and3-80 respectively. Rowan Richards chipped in with 2-75 off 20 overs.
In response, the home side made smooth progress to 45 without loss at lunch, but endured a disastrous collapse after the break, losing six wickets for just 80 runs.
Jacques Rudolph was first to go, caught by Keshav Maharaj off the bowling of Imraan Khan for 26. Henry Davids followed soon after, falling for just four - caught by Divan van Wyk, bowled Khan.
Francois le Clus top-scored with 42 including six fours before edging Kyle Abbott to a waiting Smit behind the stumps, before the wickets of Kuhn (5) , Behardien (25) and Mosehle (9) followed in quick succession to have the home side reeling at 120 for six in the 40th over.
Roelof van der Merwe (33) and Shaun von Berg (39) swung lustily to scrape the home side over the 200-run mark, but it was too little, too late as the innings folded in rapid time.
Keshav Maharaj picked up 3-54 off 20 overs, while Kahn claimed two scalps for 21 off his eight overs.
First innings centurion Van Jaarsveld on 22 and Divan van Wyk on 21 will resume on day three, while Rowan Richards claimed both Dolphin wickets to finish the day with figures of 2-17 off four overs.
Report Day 1
NASHUA TITANS: Jacques Rudolph, Francois le Clus, Henry Davids (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Heino Kuhn, Mangaliso Mosehle (w/k), Roelof van der Merwe, Marchant de Lange, Shaun von Berg, JP de Villiers, Rowan Richards.
SUNFOIL DOLPHINS: Divan van Wyk, Imraan Khan, Jon Vandiar, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Cody Chetty, Khayelihle Zondo, Daryn Smit (w/k capt), Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj, Mthokozisi Shezi, Craig Alexander