A career-best haul by Lungi Ngidi helped the Titans dominate the opening day of their Sunfoil Series clash against the Highveld Lions at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday.
The Proteas fast bowler, returning after a lengthy injury lay-off, took an outstanding six for 37 in 13 overs as the hosts were dismissed for 180 in the round five encounter, which is the final one before four-day cricket has a break.
New national opener and visiting captain Aiden Markram then struck an unbeaten 49 to enable his side to reach the close on 96 for two – just 84 behind the home side.
It capped a fine day for the Titans in their Gauteng derby and they would have been particularly pleased after losing the toss and being put in to field first.
Ngidi’s six-for led the way as the fast bowler, playing his first match since suffering a back injury in June, improved on his five for 39 taken against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins last season.
His initial burst left the Lions on seven for three before they somewhat recovered through Bjorn Fortuin’s fighting 80 (152 balls, 13 fours) and 63 (130 balls, 9 fours) from Omphile Ramela.
The two were the only men to get double figures, with Shaun von Berg (3/42) offering fine support for star man Ngidi.
Markram’s fellow Proteas opener Dean Elgar (34) helped put on 80 for the first wicket, before Aya Myoli’s two for 29 gave the hosts some hope heading into day two.
Vilas leads Dophins recovery; Philander takes 3 for Cobras
An outstanding unbeaten century from Dane Vilas led a fine recovery from the Dolphins as they ended day one of their Sunfoil Series clash with the Cape Cobras on 310 for eight at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn on Monday.
The right-hander was unbeaten on 145 (177 balls, 18 fours, 1 six) at the close – his 14th first-class ton – having come in to bat with the visitors struggling.
Proteas seamer Vernon Philander marked his return from injury with three for 24 in 17 overs to end as the best of the bowlers.
But it was a day that belonged to Vilas, whose side had lost the toss and were asked to bat first.
They found themselves in plenty of early trouble at 11 for two and then 100 for four with the likes of Vaughn van Jaarseveld (35), Cody Chetty (43) and Khaya Zondo (41) failing to kick on after good starts.
That left Vilas to pick up the pieces and he responded with partnerships of 49 with Sibonelo Makhanya (10) for the sixth wicket and 68 with Prenelan Subrayen (19) for the eighth wicket to give his side the slight edge.
Apart from Philander’s return, Lizaad Williams (2/93) and Jason Smith (2/49) were the other main wicket-takers.
Ackermann hits fifty on rain-hit first day in Kimberley
Colin Ackermann’s unbeaten half century ensured the Warriors were well-placed after a rain-hit opening day of their Sunfoil Series encounter against the Knights at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Monday.
The right-hander struck 76 not out (135 balls, 11 fours, 2 sixes) to take his side to an early close on 120 for two after they won the toss and opted to bat first in the Northern Cape.
Only 40 overs were sent down after a wet outfield initially delayed the start, before rain returned later in the afternoon to further hamper the progress of the game.
The Warriors began the round five encounter by losing their in-form opener, Eddie Moore, to Marchant de Lange (1/21) in the opening over for a four-ball duck.
Fellow opener Gionne Koopman (22) added 50 for the second wicket alongside Ackermann, before he fell to Werner Coetsee (1/31).
Another in-form man, Yaseen Vallie (21), then knuckled down alongside the visiting No. 3 batsman, sharing an unbroken 60-run stand that took them to the early close.