Runs flow as Warriors amass 400 on day one against Titans
There was plenty of leather-chasing for the visiting Multiply Titans side against the Warriors at Buffalo Park, with the home team amassing 405 for nine wickets by the close of play on the opening day of their four-day franchise encounter on Friday.
The highlight of the day’s play was a third-wicket partnership of 180 between opener Eddie Moore and number four batsman Yaseen Vallie.
Winning the toss, Warriors skipper Jon-Jon Smuts had no hesitation in batting first, although the loss of two quick wickets within the first five overs was disappointing for the home team as the pitch looked full of runs.
But both opening bowlers, Corbin Bosch and Tshepo Moreki, had other ideas and both bowled particularly well at the start. In the fourth over Moreki struck, having left-hander Gihahn Cloete caught behind by Titans wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen for six. Warriors number three, Colin Ackermann, did not last long before Bosch clean-bowled him for a single at 15 for two wickets.
Thereafter it was the Moore-Vallie show. Both were in complete control throughout their respective innings. They were unafraid to play their shots and with the Titans setting attacking fields, the boundaries flowed during the morning session.
By the lunch interval, which was taken with the score at 125 for two after 28 overs, both batsmen had reached their personal half-centuries, with Moore on 59 and Vallie on 50. Moore was first to the milestone, which he reached off 66 balls with eight fours, while Vallie reached his half-century off 59 balls with the same amount of boundaries.
After lunch the two continued their merry way and it came as a complete surprise when Vallie played forward to leg-break star Shaun von Berg and was brilliantly stumped by Klaasen for a most entertaining 75 at 195 for three wickets. He stroked 11 elegant fours and altogether faced 106 balls a stay that lasted 171 minutes.
Moore then went quietly to his ninth first-class century and added a further 69 runs with Smuts who was another Klaasen victim, caught behind off the bowling of Moreki for 36 at 264-4.
At 145 Moore went to his highest score, eclipsing the 144 he made for Eastern Province against Northern Cape three seasons ago, but at 151 he was out leg before wicket to part-time bowler Henry Davids. He batted for 317 minutes and faced 220 balls, scoring 20 boundaries and a six.
Lesiba Ngoepe and Sinethemba Queshile then added a solid 53 before Queshile lost his wicket for 28, being Klaasen’s fourth victim and two balls later, Simon Harmer lost his wicket in identical manner for no score, both being dismissed in an awesome Bosch over.
Ngoepe was joined by Aya Gqamane and the two batted enterprisingly, being particularly severe on Von Berg, who was guilty of pitching the ball short on occasion. The leg-spinner went for 19 runs off one over, with Ngoepe pulling him over mid-wicket twice and Gqamane joining in the fun with the third six of the over.
The Warriors’ 400 came up shortly before stumps and included 46 boundaries and six sixes. But then Gqamane became Klaasen’s sixth victim – caught behind off Alfred Mothoa, who then trapped Glenton Stuurman lbw next ball for a duck. Number 11 Basheer-Dean Walters avoided the hat-trick
International Klaasen impressed with the gloves throughout a long, hot day, which is not surprising considering he is coached by arguably South Africa’s greatest wicketkeeper-batsman, Mark Boucher.
Bosch, son of the late Test player Tertius Bosch, was the pick of the Titans’s bowling attack with 3-46 in 13 overs.
It is likely that the Warriors will declare on their overnight score, to take advantage of any early movement off the pitch early on Saturday...