Titans remain on top after tense draw

Lions 609 (Pretorius 118, Fortuin 116, Shamsi 5-183) drew against Titans 230 (Davids 90, Adams 73, Pretorius 4-24) and 385 for 6 (Elgar 173, Adams 71*, Matshikwe 6-58)
Scorecard

File photo: Dean Elgar battled for nearly 10 hours in the second innings, compiling 173 © Getty Images

The clash between table toppers Titans and third-placed Lions, billed as the title decider of the Sunfoil Series, ended in a tense draw at SuperSport Park. The stalemate means Lions leapfrog Knights into second place, but Titans have a 12.62-point lead on the top of the table, with one match to play.

Dean Elgar‘s second-innings 173 helped Titans secure the draw after Lions piled on 609 in their first innings. That total had seemed unlikely for Lions when Marchant de Lange and Tabraiz Shamsi reduced the team to 156 for 5 midway through the first day. De Lange had Stephen Cook caught behind in the third over, before removing Rassie van der Dussen and Alviro Petersen. Shamsi accounted for Dominic Hendricks and Temba Bavuma.

However, Lions’ lower order packed a punch with Nicky van den Bergh and Dwaine Pretorius sharing a 108-run stand for the sixth wicket. Pretorius went on to score a century and put on 144 with Bjorn Fortuin for the seventh wicket as well. Fortuin also scored a hundred and continued the trend of late century stands; he and Hardus Viljoen added 125 for the eighth wicket to push Lions over 500. Shamsi then cleaned up the tail to finish with a five-for, but Lions imposing 609 put Titans at an early disadvantage.

At 52 for 4 in reply, Titans were staring at an innings defeat, but Henry Davids and Qaasim Adams got the team back on track. Their 138-run, fifth-wicket stand led a fightback, but the rest of the Titans line-up did not offer much support. Both batsmen were dismissed before they could get to centuries, and Lions clawed their way through. They bowled Titans out for 230, taking a 379-run first-innings lead and enforced the follow-on.

Titans, though, showed more fight in the second innings. Kuhn and Elgar put on 121 for the first wicket to leave Lions with nine wickets to take on the final day. Pumelela Matshikwe took four of those in the morning session to give his team a sniff.

However, Matshikwe was Lions’ only wicket taker, and by the time he got rid of Elgar, the batsman had already amassed 173 and Titans were safe. Qaasim Adams’ unbeaten 71 took Titans into the lead before the captains shook hands with seven-and-a-half overs still left in the day.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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