Johannesburg - Lutho Sipamla’s, career best 6/34 saw the Central Gauteng Lions take control of their table-topping clash with the Eastern Province Warriors at St George’s Park on Friday.
The 23 year old fast bowler, who played two Tests last summer, took advantage of what appeared to be a moist surface in Gqeberha to stun the Warriors on the opening day of the second round of fixtures in the provincial Four-Day Series. Sipamla, who hails from the region, having been schooled at Grey High and played his junior cricket in the Eastern Cape, before making the move to Gauteng last year, found conditions very much to his liking, as it assisted his natural swing.
Four of his six wickets, were with deliveries pitched very full and leaving the batters, with three edging to the slips, and the other Glenton Stuurman trapped lbw.
The Warriors, who beat the Northerns Titans by one wicket at SuperSport Park last week, had looked comfortable initially, as a 43-run second wicket stand between Matthew Breetzke and Lesiba Ngoepe saw them reach 58/1. Ngoepe in particular struck some elegant drives when the Lions bowlers missed their lines as he top scored with 39.
However Breetzke’s wicket - pushing at a delivery from Duanne Olivier that he should have left alone after making 26 - was the start of a dreadful collapse for the home team. From that position of comfort they were bowled out for 96. In reply the Lions had reached 74/1 when bad light ended play for the day.
In Centurion, Jordan Hermann, after making half centuries in each innings on debut last week, notched up a maiden first class ton as the Titans reached 371/6 against the KZN Dolphins.
Hermann made a lively 112 off only 132 balls, striking 17 fours and a six to help the Titans give a far better account of themselves with the bat than was the case against the Warriors a week ago.
In Potchefstroom, Patrick Kruger struck a bruising 192 not out and Pite van Biljon notched up his second consecutive century in the competition as the Knights took control of their match against the Dragons in Potchefstroom, despite the loss of four wickets in the first session.
Van Biljon, who scored 137 against Boland in Bloemfontein last week, made 10 runs fewer this time, but had to rescue his side after a poor morning session. The Knights had slumped 101/4, at the loss of Wandile Makwetu’s wicket shortly before lunch, with Senuran Muthusamy picking up two wickets, while Eldred Hawken and Delano Potgieter grabbed one each.
Kruger and Van Biljon added 234 runs for the fifth wicket at a run rate of five an over, as the former hit 22x4 and 4x6 in what is a career best knock. The Dragons finished on 418/8.
In Paarl, Pieter Malan’s 96, and useful contributions from Boland’s lower order saw them make 267 all out against Western Province.
Boland were in desperate trouble on 77/5 in the first session, before a 52-run fifth wicket partnership between Malan and young Hloma Hanabe steadied the ship. Malan missed out on a 36th first class hundred by just four runs.
Shaun von Berg with 47 and Hardus Viljoen with 43, ensured a respectable first innings total for the home side. The 20 year old, right arm quick Mihlali Mpongwana, claimed a maiden first class ‘five-for’ taking 5/39. Western Province were 5/0 at stumps.