Bowlers dominate as 21 wickets fall in Bloem

David Wiese (Gallo Images)
David Wiese (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - A mind-boggling 21 wickets fell on the opening day of the Sunfoil Series clash between the VKB Knights and Unlimited Titans at the Mangaung Oval on Thursday.

Both teams were bowled out - the visitors first for 141 followed by the hosts for a paltry 76 - with the Pretoria side then reaching stumps on 20 for one.

Duanne Olivier (5-42) and Ethy Mbhalati (5-29) were the chief destroyers for their respective sides as they grabbed five wickets apiece.

The top-of-the-table Titans would have been questioning their own choice to bat first after winning the toss and slipping to 22 for four. Top-scorer Farhaan Behardien (34) engineered a slight recovery, before falling on the stroke of lunch.

His side then looked to be headed for a score closer to 100 after falling to 109 for nine, but a late 32-run 10th-wicket stand, the highest of the innings, between Marchant de Lange (19) and Tabraiz Shamsi (22) rescued them.

 Apart from Olivier's eighth career five-for, Quinton Friend bagged two for 29.

The response was even poorer from the home side as they slipped to their second-lowest total in the franchise era, their lowest score against the Titans and lowest score ever at the venue.

They started decently enough, and reached 47 for three at one stage, before David Wiese (3-16) combined with Mbhalati, who notched up the 11th five-wicket haul of his career, to send the Knights tumbling.

The last seven wickets fell for 29 runs and only two batsmen - Rilee Rossouw (17) and Rudi Second (14) - managed double figures.

The Titans tried to be more positive second time around and reached 20, before Grant Mokoena (14) fell with what proved to be the final delivery of the day.

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