Two wickets apiece by Thandolwethu Mnyaka and Andrew Birch left the Highveld Lions fighting to avoid defeat by the end of day two of their Sunfoil Series clash against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Friday. After dismissing the hosts for 375 at St George’s Park, the visitors limped to stumps on 76/4, still a massive 231 behind following their shocking first innings meltdown that had seen them score just 68. Mnyaka, playing in only his third match of the season, claimed the wickets of Rassie Van Der Dussen (27) and Dominic Hendricks (14) for figures of 2/29.
Fellow seamer Birch took out the key wickets of Stephen Cook (0) and Alviro Petersen (4) as the defending champions once more struggled. This after the Lions had earlier managed to dismiss the Warriors for their highest total of the season. Following Colin Ackermann’s 65 on day one, there were two further half centuries for the home side. Somila Seyibokwe hit 56 (111 balls, eight fours, one six) and Simon Harmer 59 (110 balls, eight fours) as the tail wagged excellently for their team.
Clyde Fortuin (39) and Birch (29) shared partnerships of 62 and 66 with Harmer to further frustrate the Lions, who could do little despite the efforts of Hardus Viljoen. The Proteas quick and competition leading wicket-taker was once again the pick of the bowlers with 5/139 – increasing his season tally to 47.