Cook’s ton helps Lions put pressure on Titans

2013-11-22 00:00

STEPHEN Cook struck a fine century to propel the bizhub Highveld Lions to 328 for five at stumps on the first day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Nashua Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion yesterday.

Opening batsman Cook brought up his 24th first-class ton off 182 balls before making his way to 113 off 217 deliveries with 13 fours.

Cook was finally undone by the advent of the second new ball when he shouldered arms to a delivery from seamer Ethy Mbhalati and was trapped leg-before.

The Titans were made to rue their decision to bowl first despite the early dismissal of Francois le Clus (13) as Cook and Temba Bavuma plundered 172 runs for the second wicket off 51.5 overs.

Bavuma weighed in with 88 off 170 balls with 12 fours and a six before he was stumped by keeper Mangaliso Mosehle off a delivery from left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe.

Neil McKenzie and Cook then added 70 runs for the third wicket before McKenzie, who had just struck a six off the bowling of offspinner Henry Davids, was caught at square leg off the same bowler for 34 which included two fours and two sixes.

Cook was the next batsman to depart, in the 82nd over, to leave the Lions on 287-4 before veteran Zander de Bruyn (12) also fell victim to the second new-ball when he was trapped leg-before by paceman CJ de Villiers.

However, Thami Tsolekile (16 not out) and Brett Pelser (20 not out) ensured that there would be no more success for the Titans bowlers during what had been a tough day for the fielding team as they added an unbroken 39-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Mbhalati ended the day with figures of 2-52 off 15 overs.

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