Omphile Ramela hit his maiden double century in first-class cricket as the Cape Cobras effectively batted Titans out of the Sunfoil Series match on day two in Benoni. Ramela converted his third first-class hundred into an unbeaten double, while Stiaan Van Zyl overcame the effects of a virus to return to the crease and contribute 73 as the Nashua Cape Cobras racked up 484 all out. Beuran Hendricks then made an early breakthrough as he had Kyllin Vardhan caught behind, which left The Unlimited Titans on 21/1 when bad light stopped play for the day.
It will now take an heroic batting display for the Titans to build an innings that could put the pressure back on the Cobras. Ramela had already developed an ability to bat for long periods prior to his maiden franchise ton last week, but his scoring rate had at times held him back. This innings of 202 not out produced a strike rate of almost exactly 50, which ensured that he made good use of the 10 hours he spent at the crease.
While the Cobras lost Dane Vilas in the sixth over of the day, having added just eight runs to their overnight 278/2, they were boosted by the return of Van Zyl, who had been forced to retire hurt on 24 on the opening day when a virus made him feel weak. He joined Ramela in a 79-run stand for the fourth wicket before he was caught behind off the bowling of Ethy Mbhalati for 73, and Justin Kemp (32) added a further 57 with Ramela for the fifth wicket. Kemp’s dismissal brought the Titans’ bright point of the day, which saw four wickets fall for the addition of just six runs.
Three of them were taken by Rowan Richards, who went on to end the innings by bowling Dane Paterson to finish with figures of 5/114 – his third five-wicket haul in the competition this season.