Cape Town - Some lower-order doggedness by the Highveld Lions, added to a third career century by Dwaine Pretorius, helped secure an unlikely Sunfoil Series draw against the Cape Cobras in Paarl late on Sunday.
The visitors were left holding on for dear life by the close when they ended an epic final day on 287 for nine from 140 overs in their follow-on innings.
Spearheaded by a magnificent 101 from 178 balls by Pretorius, the Lions had several heroes through the day, but many plaudits will go to the final wicket pair of Aaron Phangiso and Eddie Leie. Phangiso, in particular, batted for 20 minutes short of two hours at the end for a stubborn 16 from 85 balls, while number No.11 Leie was unbeaten on one from 39 balls having batted for 48 minutes. They batted for over 14 overs together to ensure the hard work done by Pretorius, who batted for over four hours, was not wasted.
There were other heroes too for the Johannesburg franchise with Nicky van den Bergh making 28 in a little over three hours. The rookie wicketkeeper and Pretorius adding 112 together for the sixth wicket in 43.3 overs.
Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen (72) and Shaylen Pillay (26) played their part too as the Lions maintained their unbeaten start to the season. They walked away with 4.04 points, but still dropped to third on the table.
The Cobras, who ended their two-game losing streak, had Robin Peterson to thank for taking them so close after his four for 88. They took away 9.04 points from the game and jumped to fifth.