Hardus Viljoen led another impressive bowling performance by the Highveld Lions as they moved to within four wickets of victory over the Cape Cobras after day three of their Sunfoil Series clash in Potchefstroom on Saturday. The big fast bowler claimed 3/23 to leave the visitors on 186/6 in their follow-on innings after they had earlier been dismissed for 258 – a deficit of 322. The Cobras had started the day on 154/5 in reply to the Lions’ massive 580/7 declared and they managed 104 for the last five wickets, thanks mainly to Wayne Parnell’s 62 (126 balls, 13 fours).
Andrew Puttick, unbeaten on 58 overnight, was eventually dismissed for 73 (169 balls, 14 fours), but their lack of further fight meant the away side were bowled out in 87 overs on the stroke of lunch. Debutant slow left-armer Bjorn Fortuin was the pick of the bowlers with 3/87. Their second innings started poorly with Puttick (0) and fellow opener Simon Khomari (5) falling with only nine on the board, both to Viljoen, and they continued to lose regular wickets through to the close.
Captain Omphile Ramela top-scored with 47 and was out to the part-time seam of Temba Bavuma, handing the Proteas Test batsman only a fourth wicket of his first-class career. Parnell (39*) was again impressing with the bat by the close, but the Cobras still needed another 136 to make the Lions bat again or face an innings defeat.