Highveld Lions Up The Tempo Against Titans

Dale Deeb and Dwaine Pretorius both contributed half-centuries to help the Highveld Lions to a hefty first-innings total on a rain-hit second day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Titans in Benoni.  Deeb and Pretorius put on 137 for the seventh wicket to help the bizhub Highveld Lions extend their innings to 485/7 declared, before the Titans reached 27/0 in reply.  While the size of the total was impressive, the speed at which the runs were scored was equally handy, with a run rate of 3.75 for the innings ensuring that the game was moved along despite just 64 overs being bowled on the day.

The Lions resumed on 264/2, and overnight batsmen, Stephen Cook and Neil Mckenzie, extended their partnership to 82 before the second new ball helped Juan De Villiers to trap McKenzie lbw for 47.  In his first game for The Unlimited Titans since November, De Villiers (3/75) struck twice in two balls in his next over to remove Goolam Bodi and Thami Tsolekile, before Rowan Richards (3/118) had Cook caught behind for 122.  With that the Lions had lost four wickets for two runs in 14 balls, but Deeb and Pretorius saw them through the rest of a tricky period before building a productive partnership.

The pair took the Lions to lunch on 396/6, and then through to a lengthy rain delay, which arrived moments after both batsmen had reached fifty.  Pretorius scored his 67 from just 107 balls before he was bowled by Roelof Van Der Merwe, while Deeb went on to finish unbeaten on 89 when Cook declared the innings to give his bowlers six overs at the Titans.  Playing his first game of the season for the Titans, Jacques Rudolph made a positive start as he stroked an unbeaten 18 from just 22 balls, while his opening partner, Heino Kuhn, went to stumps on seven not out.