File photo – Wayne Parnell finished with a career-best match haul of 12 for 105 as Cobras beat Dolphins by nine wickets © Associated Press
Parnell had scythed through the Dolphins order for a career-best 7 for 51 in their first innings, which made his final tally of 12 for 105 the best of his first-class career.
Dolphins folded for 139 in their second innings, setting Cobras a target of 71. They lost Simon Khomari with just 10 on the board, but Andrew Puttick (33 not out) and Stiaan van Zyl (37 not out) made sure there were no further hiccups as Cobras marched to 74 for 1 in 16.5 overs for their third win of the season.
On the first day, Parnell had made sure Dolphins’ innings lasted just 46.3 overs after they were asked to bat. Vaughn van Jaarsveld (58), who top-scored, and Senuran Muthusamy, combined for a second-wicket stand of 72 to offset the early loss of the openers. But the latter’s dismissal for 21 sparked off a collapse as Dolphins slipped from 91 for 2 to 118 for 8. That they got to 183 was courtesy a rearguard effort from Craig Alexander, their No. 10, who blasted 54 off 35 balls.
Parnell came good with the bat too, stringing together a timely sixth-wicket stand of 101 with Dane Vilas after Cobras had been reduced to 99 for 5 in their reply. Parnell made 31, and Vilas top-scored with 80, to take Cobras to 252 and give them a 69-run lead. Dolphins’ new-ball bowlers did the bulk of the damage, with Alexander bagging 5 for 62, and Rabian Engelbrecht picking up 3 for 60.
Several Dohphins batsmen got off to starts in the second dig, but none managed to make it count. Parnell found support from all around. Dane Piedt and Brendan Young took two wickets apiece, while Vernon Philander, his new-ball partner, accounted for one. Both Cobras and Dolphins are out of contention for the title. Cobras are on fourth position with 85.14 points, while Dolphins are one position below, with 75.58. Nonetheless, their final matches, against the Titans and Knights respectively – still holds significance, with the two holding the top two positions on the table.
Warriors chased down 95 in 17.2 overs to beat Knights in a wicket-fest, and post their first victory of the season. Knights, on the other side, suffered their fourth defeat as their push for the title received a significant blow.
Fifteen wickets tumbled on the first day, and 16 on the second, before Martin Walters‘ 40 off 39 balls, the second-best score in the match, helped Warriors break their drought. Edward Moore, the other opener, stayed unbeaten, on 29, as did No.3 Colin Ackermann.
Having opted to bowl, Warriors seized the initiative by routing Knights for 128 in 51 overs. South Africa international Simon Harmer and Jerry Nqolo did the bulk of the damage, claiming combined figures of 21-9-36-7.
Even as wickets fell around him, Rudi Second ground out 41 in 155 minutes, the highest score in the low-scoring match. Werner Coetsee (33), the captain, and opener Reeza Hendricks (18) were the only other batsmen to make double figures.
Warriors then endued a collapse of their own, but useful lower-order wagging put them in the lead. Seamer Duanne Olivier picked up his tenth five-wicket haul in first-class cricket and was ably assisted by Malusi Siboto as Warriors were reduced to 94 for 7 by the 40th over. Harmer stepped up with the bat and found company from No.9 Sisanda Magala; the pair put on 53, the joint-second best stand in the match.
Facing a deficit of 37, Knights saw their top order getting cleaned up by Anrich Nortje. He ended with career-best returns of 5 for 34.
Coetsee, Shadley van Schalkwyk, and Malusi Siboto mounted some late resistance, but Knights only managed to set a target of 95, which was easily knocked off courtesy positive batting from Warriors’ top three. Warriors walked away with 15.3 points, having knocked over Knights inside two days.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo