Warriors, Lions win big to close gap on Cobras

By SA Cricket Magazine

The Warriors and the Lions both pulled off impressive victories in the latest round of CSA 4-Day Franchise Series matches, closing the gap on the Cape Cobras, who drew with the Knights in Bloemfontein.

A splendid five-wicket haul by Basheer Walters helped the Warriors stun defending champions the Titans by 216 runs on the final day in East London.

The fast bowler claimed an impressive five for 35 in nine overs – his eighth career five-for – as the visitors were ruthlessly dispatched for 136, sealing a second biggest win for the hosts in terms of runs over their opponents. They had been chasing an unlikely target of 353 in 45 overs after the Warriors declared their second innings earlier on 310 for five.

The Eastern Cape franchise started day four with captain Jon-Jon Smuts unbeaten on 49 and seeking quick runs to add to their 254 for five.

The skipper got his way by striking 75 (128 balls, 12×4), with good support coming from young partner Sinethemba Qeshile (27). Both ended unbeaten and shared a stand worth 66 that concluded with the declaration.

The Titans were then set on the back foot immediately as Andrea Agathangelou and Jonathan Vandiar were both removed with only five runs on the board. Both made ducks and were in fact among five Titans players who failed to trouble the scorers as Walters made merry.

Only lower order pair Shaun von Berg (37) and Corbin Bosch, who completed a second half-century of the game on his way to 59, made any meaningful contributions as their side succumbed in 45 overs.

Apart from Walters, Simon Harmer collected three for 59 in 18 overs to send the Titans tumbling to a second loss in the campaign, one that left them second bottom on the table.

Victory for the home side propelled them to third.

Warriors 408 (EM Moore 151, MY Vallie 75, LC Ngoepe 72 not out, JT Smuts 36, Qeshile † 28; C Bosch 3-48, SA Mothoa 2-37, TL Moreki 2-73, H Davids 1-26, S von Berg 1-108) & 310-5 (CN Ackermann 92, JT Smuts 75 not out, GL Cloete 63, S Qeshile 27 not out, LC Ngoepe 24; S von Berg 2-112)
Titans 366 (H Klaasen 73, H Davids 57, C Bosch 53 not out, JD Vandiar 48,  S von Berg 32, SA Mothoa 32; LC Ngoepe 3-27, GA Stuurman 3-84, BD Walters 2-92) & 136 (C Bosch 59, S von Berg 37; BD Walters 5-35, SR Harmer 3-59)
Warriors won by 216 runs

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Above: Jon Jon Smuts of the warriors during day 1 of the 4-Day Franchise Series match between Warriors and Multiply Titans at Buffalo Park on January 04, 2019 in East London, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)