Stephen Cook’s fourth Sunfoil Series hundred in as many matches set the Highveld Lions up for a significant first-innings lead over the Warriors on day two at Buffalo Park on Friday. Cook went to stumps unbeaten on 150 as the Lions reached 250/1 – just 37 runs short of the Warriors’ first-innings total of 287 all out. The 32-year-old has now scored 550 runs in his last five Sunfoil Series innings for just two dismissals – a run that has naturally coincided with a string of excellent results for the Lions – to put him second on the run-scoring charts for the season. After Chris Morris claimed the final Chevrolet Warriors wicket to finish with figures of 3/26 from 16.2 overs and leave Darryl Brown unbeaten on 55, Cook shared a mammoth 192-run stand with Rassie Van Der Dussen for the opening wicket to leave no doubt as to which side would be running the contest going forward.
While the bizhub Highveld Lions skipper scored relatively freely, Van Der Dussen played a patient innings, absorbing 225 deliveries for his 74 before Sisanda Magala finally gave the Warriors something to celebrate in the 73rd over of the innings when he bowled the opener. That brought Alviro Petersen to the crease, and he was content to be watchful early on as he took 50 deliveries for his 16 not out. Having already faced 271 balls, Cook will resume in the morning with the objective of setting up a Lions total that will negate the need for the visitors to bat twice.