Debutant Eldred Hawken and David Wiese picked up three wickets apiece to bowl the Titans to a hefty first-innings lead over the Warriors on day two of their Sunfoil Series clash at SuperSport Park. Fast bowler Hawken made his speed count as he bowled all three of this victims on his way to figures of 3/47, while Wiese made some vital interventions later on to finish with 3/28. That saw the Warriors bowled out for 209 in response to the Titans’ first innings total of 369.
The hosts closed the second day on 9/0 to lead by 169 runs. The Warriors began the day brightly as Basheeru-Deen Walters dismissed Farhaan Behardien for 79 in just the fourth over, but then came up against some stubborn knocks from Grant Mokoena and Wiese. The pair added 74 for the sixth wicket in just 17 overs as they made use of the harder ball, with Mokoena making 46 and Wiese scoring 48.
Ayabulela Gqamane (3/54) hit back with the wickets of Mokoena and Mangaliso Mosehle in the same over, but Rowan Richards (24 not out) added some quick runs to add to the Warriors’ frustrations. Walters finally brought the innings to a close on the stroke of lunch when he bowled Ethy Mbhalati to finish with figures of 5/49 – his fourth five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. The Warriors slumped to 81/7 in reply, with Hawken headlining the Titans bowling on his franchise debut as he grabbed the scalps of David White and Yaseen Vallie.
The 26-year-old has been in fine form of late, having taken 12 wickets in two first-class matches for Northerns prior to his selection in this match. Richards and Mbhalati also chipped in with two wickets apiece, before Clyde Fortuin and Sisanda Magala dug in for the better part of a session and added 86 for the eight wicket. It was Hawken who broke the stand, bowling Magala for 40, and Fortuin was next to go when he was trapped lbw by Wiese for 72.
Proteas opener Dean Elgar will have the opportunity to spend some time at the crease on the third morning, when he resumes on 4.