Border have noses in front

Phaphama Fojela
Phaphama Fojela
Image: Gallo Images

A wicket shortly before the lunchbreak ensured that Border edged the first session on the third day of their CSA three-day provincial match against Eastern Province at Buffalo Park on Thursday, with the visitors on 93/2.

Strike bowler Phaphama Fojela, who had just two overs earlier returned for his second spell, had a confident-looking Lesiba Ngoepe caught by wicketkeeper Mncedisi Malika for 35 off 46 balls (8x4) in the 29th over to reduce the visitors to 83/2.

Fojela's figures at the break were superb, having claimed two wickets for 12 runs off 11 overs, including four maidens, and he had proved almost unplayable on the first morning.

It was Fojela and fellow opening bowler Aya Gqamane who shackled the EP openers in the early session, tying down Matthew Christensen and Joshua van Heerden during the first 14 overs.

The pressure eventually told for Van Heerden as he became the first wicket to fall, bowled by Fojela for two off a painstaking 36 deliveries, which had EP at 12/1 at the end of the 13th over.

By the end of the 14th over it was 13/1 and Christensen was on eight off 49 deliveries, but the arrival of new batsman Ngoepe seemed to take the pressure off the opener and they embarked on a positive 71-run partnership, upping the scoring rate as they went.

Just as they were looking to reach the lunchbreak in a decent position Ngoepe fell, leaving Christensen unbeaten on 42 off 103 balls and new man Kelly Smuts on five off 17, and Border will hope to remove them as early as possible after lunch.