The first round of matches in the domestic season are in the book with the Dolphins, Knights and Titans registering wins in the CSA 4-Day Series on Thursday 5 November.
Dolphins send CSA 4-Day Series Champion Lions packing
A 28th career five-wicket haul by Keshav Maharaj proved vital for the Dolphins as they completed a nine-wicket win over the Imperial Lions in their season-opening CSA 4-Day Series encounter on the final day in Durban.
The Proteas spinner claimed six for 101 in 38.4 overs, receiving support from fellow spinner Prenelan Subrayen (3/63) to help dismiss the defending champions for 210 shortly after lunch on day four.
That left the home side a target of 11, which they quickly chased to wrap up an emphatic victory at Kingsmead Stadium.
It had been an impressive all-round display for the home side built on a record venue stand of 344 between Sarel Erwee (199) and Keegan Petersen (173).
Their partnership had left the Lions needing to bat big in their second innings, but they struggled and reached stumps after three days on 75 for three.
Temba Bavuma (25) and Ryan Rickelton (35) managed to add 48 for the fourth wicket at the start, but both were removed by Subrayen in quick succession, with Nicky van den Bergh (4) also falling in between.
All three were dismissed leg before wicket by slow bowlers.
That clutter of wickets led to the Lions slipping from 117 for three to 126 for six.
From there the Lions’ chances of salvaging anything was slim. And Maharaj stuck it in by wrapping up the tail to leave the champions all out in 82.4 overs.
The Dolphins lost Grant Roelofsen (1) cheaply for the second time in the game in their brief chase, but that proved the only blip in a big win.
Titans complete fantastic chase
A composed century by Theunis de Bruyn together with a defiant unbeaten 41 from Junior Dala paved the way for the Titans to complete a thrilling two-wicket win over the Cape Cobras on the final day of their CSA 4-Day Series opener in Cape Town.
Chasing a tricky 316 for victory, the visitors began the final day well-placed at 195 for three, but the loss of some early wickets tilted the balance in favour of the hosts.
Proteas batsman De Bruyn carried their hopes with his 14th career first-class century, though, as he went on to record an excellent 127 (204 balls, 13 fours, 1 six).
But he fell when 29 were still needed, setting up a nervous finish for the Titans, who eventually squeezed over the line thanks to Dala’s fighting 85-ball vigil, which included six boundaries.
The result completed a fine comeback for Mandla Mashimbyi’s side, who were well behind the game when they were bowled out for 150 in the first innings at Six Gun Grill Newlands.
But they stormed back well in the second innings, that had begun well on day three of the 2020/21 season opener thanks to Dean Elgar, who followed his ton in the first innings with 58, as well as 48 by Aiden Markram.
That had given them a century start and De Bruyn built well on that on the final morning, despite wickets falling around him.
Three were lost relatively early in the day when Sibonelo Makhanya (4), Grant Thomson (4) and Diego Rosier (1) fell for the addition of 38 runs.
George Linde (4/123) claimed two of those wickets as he ended with nine wickets in the match.
At that stage, though, it left the Titans on 233 for six, but a stand key partnership of 54 between De Bruyn and Dala raised hopes, before the former was held by Zubayr Hamza off David Schierhout (1/33).
But Dala plugged away, and despite the late loss of Lizaad Williams (8) to Ziyaad Abrahams (3/50), the Titans got home at the end of an extended morning session.
Knights oufight the Warriors
Mbulelo Budaza claimed the three required wickets early on the final morning as the Knights completed a resounding 179-run victory over the Warriors in their round one fixture at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
Only 17 deliveries were sent down on day four, but that was enough for the hosts to wrap up the tail and dismiss the visitors for 186.
Budaza ended with four for 47 in 13.5 overs, while opener Matthew Breetzke was left stranded on 77 (214 balls, 8 fours, 1 six).
The Warriors had started the final day with their backs firmly to the wall at 173 for seven and there was little resistance from the tail.
Mthiwekhaya Nabe fell from the first ball of play when he was caught behind off Budaza by Wandile Mawetu for five, with Marcello Piedt (4) following in the same fashion two balls later.
Last man Basheer Walters (2) was then cleaned up in the next over by the fast bowler – leaving the Warriors all out in 76.5 overs.
Migael Pretorius was the other key bowler for the Knights with three for 25 as the Central Franchise handed new coach Allan Donald a winning start to his tenure.
CSA 4-Day Series standings
|2 CAPE COBRAS||1||0||1||0||0||0||7.28|