Knights finally off the mark

Rilee Rossouw (Gallo Images)
Rilee Rossouw (Gallo Images)

Bloemfontein - Rilee Rossouw has smashed a quickfire ton as the Knights picked up their first win of the One-Day Cup campaign on Friday evening, defeating fellow strugglers the Highveld Lions by four wickets, off the last ball, in a rain-reduced match in Bloemfontein.

With the hosts chasing 253 runs to win off 39 overs, on the Duckworth-Lewis method, the Lions bowling attack got off to a sloppy start.

Seamers Hardus Viljoen, who took four for 60, and Chris Morris gave away 21 runs off the first 12 deliveries, with Morris bowling a 10-ball over to open his spell.

And while they settled down, with Viljoen removing Rudi Second in the fifth over, Rossouw paired up with opener Reeza Hendricks for a 170-run second-wicket stand.

Hendricks made 70 runs before Viljoen had him caught behind in the 30th over.

Rossouw stuck around for two more overs before Viljoen added his scalp, with the opening batsman making 102 from 80 deliveries, including 11 fours and a six.

Johan van der Wath carried the Knights home with an unbeaten 23 runs, hitting a four off the last ball to snatch a nail-biting victory.

Earlier, Lions captain Stephen Cook anchored his side with a well-played ton, at a little slower than a run a ball, after the visitors won the toss and chose to bat.

Rain interrupted the game midway through the first innings, but the opener stayed composed, combining in valuable contributions with rookie Dominic Hendricks, who made 36, veteran Neil McKenzie and unbeaten Jean Symes, who each made 25 runs.

Cook was eventually removed by seam bowler Van der Wath, after racking up 111 runs -- his sixth career limited overs century -- with 12 boundaries.

Van der Wath, who dismissed McKenzie and Morris in the same over, led the Knights attack, returning three for 44 as the visitors were restricted to 231 for five after their 39 overs.

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