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Cricket | Sunfoil Series

Andrew Birch © Gallo Images

Warriors in control over Knights

The Chevrolet Warriors took control of their Sunfoil Series match against the Chevrolet Knights at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein on Friday, gaining a slender 13-run lead before Andrew Birch bagged two early wickets in the first over of Knights' second innings to put the home side on the back foot. They find themselves 76 for five at the close of day two.

Birch ripped through the Knights' top order, claiming the wickets of Michael Erlank (0) and first innings centurion, Rilee Rossouw (4) in a fiery opening over.

Rudi Second was out for three in Birch’s third over when he was caught behind by Adrian McLaren. Another over from Birch meant another wicket for the Warriors, the 27 year-old taking a return catch to remove Ryan Bailey for eight. The Knights were effectively nine for four.

Davy Jacobs decided to give Birch a rest after a fantastic spell of four for 17 in six overs and throw the ball to Simon Harmer. The decision paid off immediately as Harmer struck in his first over by trapping Obus Pienaar LBW for 17.

Patrick Botha (14) and Dean Elgar (28) did their best to try bat the Knights out of trouble, and at the close of play their partnership had reached 28, with the home side effectively 63 for five.

Most of the Warriors' batsmen contributed towards their first-innings total of 281, but none of them could turn their starts into anything more than the 50 scored by Harmer.

Michael Price (0) and Davy Jacobs (18) were both dismissed on the evening of day one, so Ashwell Prince and Arno Jacobs were at the crease first thing on day two, with the away side on 79 for two.

The fifth over of the day brought the first wicket when Dillon Du Preez had Jacobs caught by Dean Elgar for 40.

With the light getting worse, Prince was caught by Rossouw from a Malusi Siboto delivery, the 35-year-old out for 37.

Five deliveries later, the sides left the field due to bad light. The delay lasted only half an hour and when the sides returned, Corne Dry picked up the wicket of Jonker for 10. The Warriors were in slight trouble at 128 for five.

Vuyisa Makhaphela and McLaren attempted to steady the innings, but with their partnership on 43, Elgar took his second catch of the innings from a Patrick Botha delivery to remove Makhaphela for 35.

McLaren was next to go for 25 when he was removed by Dry and the Warriors found themselves 178 for seven, still 90 runs behind the Knights.

Birch and Harmer started a fantastic lower-order partnership that passed 50 in only 60 deliveries, but on the stroke of tea, Siboto managed to get the breakthrough when he found the outside edge of Birch’s bat and he was caught behind for a well-played 27.

It didn’t take long for the Knights to strike in the final session, as Dry cleaned bowled Gqamane for 13 in the sixth over after the break.

The Warriors passed the Knights' total with just one wickets in hand, and with a lead of just 13, Harmer was removed by Terblanche for a well-played half century.

Dry finished with figures of three for 68 in 18 overs, while Terblanche (two for 44), Du Preez (two for 55) and Siboto (two for 61) all picked up a couple of wickets each.

Report Day 1

CHEVROLET WARRIORS: ML Price, DJ Jacobs (capt), A Jacobs, AG Prince, V Makhaphela, C Jonker, AP McLaren (wk), SR Harmer, ACR Birch, A Gqamane, GR Rabie

CHEVROLET KNIGHTS: MN Erlank, RS Second (wk), RR Rossouw, D Elgar, RT Bailey, AJ Pienaar, P Botha, RK Terblanche (capt), D du Preez, CA Dry, MP Siboto


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