Lions edge ahead of Titans

Hardus Viljoen (Gallo Images)
Hardus Viljoen (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - A three-wicket blitz by Hardus Viljoen on the second evening gave the bizhub Highveld Lions the edge in their Sunfoil Series clash against the Titans at SuperSport Park on Friday.

In a game that had otherwise gone in favour of the batsmen, Viljoen ripped out three wickets in six deliveries to dent the Titans innings in clinical fashion.

The Titans went to stumps on 278 for six, still trailing the Lions’ first-innings total of 419 by 141 runs.

The Lions began the day on 328 for five, and had Thami Tsolekile to thank as they became the first team to breach the 400-run mark in the competition this season.

Tsolekile resumed on 16 not out, but was left stranded on 63 after Cobus Pienaar cleaned up the tail, claiming three of the last four wickets to fall.

Although the Lions score was impressive on paper, the Titans confirmed the batsman-friendly nature of the pitch as they moved to 180 for one in reply.

After opener Francois le Clus had been caught behind off the bowling of Viljoen, Pienaar added 158 for the second wicket with Heino Kuhn, who continued his good form from the Momentum One-Day Cup with a knock of 88.

The stand was broken when Pienaar was out hit wicket from the bowling of Chris Morris for 83, and Kuhn was caught behind off Eddie Leie soon after.

Viljoen’s rapid strikes then left the Titans reeling at 216 for six, but an unbroken stand of 62 between Farhaan Behardien (58 not out) and Shaun von Berg (24 not out) stabilised the innings and gave the hosts a chance of matching the Lions total.

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