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An unbeaten 81-run partnership between Matthew Kleinveldt and Jason Smith helped the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras fight back on day two of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Warriors in Cape Town on Tuesday.

 

The pair helped their side recover from 73 for four to reach stumps on 154 for four, still trailing by 196 after the visitors had early posted 350 at Newlands.

 

Fresh from a career-best 175 in the previous game, Kleinveldt was the key man for the home side thanks to his unbeaten 70 (164 balls, 13 fours), while Smith was alongside him on 41.

 

They were fighting to get their side out of a hole, which was created by a double strike from Glenton Stuurman (2/31).

 

Earlier, it was the Warriors captain Jon-Jon Smuts who helped lift his side to a strong first-innings score.

 

The team from the Eastern Cape resumed batting on day two on 189 for three, with Yaseen Vallie (63 off 125 balls, 5 fours) key for them early on after he completed a well-played half-century.

 

And, after a quick triple strike by pick of the bowlers George Linde (3/67), the Warriors then looked like they were throwing away their initiative by falling to 226 for six.

 

But Andrew Birch (25) offered support for his skipper in a 46-run seventh-wicket stand, with Jade de Klerk (13) and Stuurman (15) helping push the score to the 350-mark when the visitors were finally dismissed.

 

Smuts was the last man standing, unbeaten on 75 off 102 balls (10 fours).

 

Apart from Linde, there were also three wickets each for Dane Piedt (3/84) and Dane Paterson (3/68).

 

Janneman Malan (0), Pieter Malan (17), Zubayr Hamza (0) and Kyle Verreynne (16) then all fell cheaply, before the rescue act by Kleinveldt and Smith, although the pair will know that there is still plenty of work ahead on day three.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince was encouraged with his team’s performance in the drawn match against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg in round 3 of the CSA 4 Day Domestic Series.

With bad light and rain hampering the match, it was always going to be tough for both teams to push for a win, but with the Dolphins 6-down by the time the captains shook hands on the draw, Prince was full of praise for his side.

“Once again, it was disappointing to run out of time to force home a result with bad light and rain on day 1 and 2 – more or less a full day’s play was washed out. That ended our chances of pushing on for the victory.

“In the first innings, it was really encouraging on a flat pitch to get them 9 wickets down for 325 so credit to all our bowlers. Unfortunately Pieter (Malan) lost his wicket early at the start of our 1st innings, but Janneman (Malan) and Matthew (Kleinveldt) were unbelievable in that partnership.

“To have a partnership of over 220, without barely offering up a chance to the fielding side, is remarkable and an unbelievable effort from those two.

“Kyle (Verryenne) chipped in with another half century – he is in rich vein of form at the moment.

“There has been a lot of comments of late about the depth and quality of cricket in our country, but these two younger guys, Janneman and Kyle, have showed what quality they have.

Prince was also full of praise for the ‘more experienced’ Kleinveldt who notched up a career-best 175 in his 100th First Class match.

“With Matthew being a senior provincial player for a number of years who has struggled to break into the Cobras team and get a continuous run of games, it was really rewarding for him and for everyone else in the system for him to get his career best of 175. He has waited a long time for his opportunity and he took it with both hands and we couldn’t be happier for him.”

With three away matches in a row up front in the competition, Prince has been encouraged by the determination of his side as they look to earn their first win of the campaign when they face up to the Warriors at Newlands starting on Monday.

“All in all, we’ve had 2 matches back-to-back where we’ve pushed our opposition to the end. We’ve played some good cricket and that first win is just around the corner,” he concluded.

A total of 18 wickets fell on the opening day of the 4-Day Domestic Series season in Potchefstroom but it was the innings of Kagiso Rapulana that helped the reigning champions Imperial Lions take control of their clash against last term’s runners-up, the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, on Monday.

The right-hander withstood all that was going on around him with a defiant unbeaten 84 (130 balls, 10 fours) as the hosts posted what appeared to be a below-par 215 all out at Senwes Park.

But they then reduced the visitors to 106 for eight at stumps, still a substantial 109 runs ahead after the opening day of action.

Most of the damage with the ball was done by the spinners – 13 of the wickets going down falling to the slow bowlers, with four each for George Linde (4/67) and Aaron Phangiso (4/28).

Jason Smith (54 not out off 114 balls, 6 fours) was the other fighter on a captivating day for the two stand-out teams from last year.

It was the Lions, though, who had looked in early trouble after winning the toss and batting in the North West.

Reeza Hendricks (30) helped them get to 88 for three, but they were then blown away by the spinners and collapsed to 143 for nine.

Linde was the chief tormenter, with Matthew Kleinveldt (3/34) playing an excellent support role.

However, Rapulana defied the turn and, having finally found support in No. 11 Beuran Hendricks (29), the pair added 72 for the final wicket to ensure the defending champions ended their innings in the ascendancy.

Former Lions bowler Nandre Burger (2/33), who was making his debut for the Cobras, managed to end the last-wicket stand, the hosts dismissed in 56.2 overs.

The reply was a woeful one for the Capetonians. Their openers Janneman (10) and Pieter Malan (2) were back in the pavilion inside the first 4.1 overs as they battled to acclimatise.

Beuran Hendricks (1/28) and Bjorn Fortuin (2/26) were the two to do the early damage with the wickets then continuing to tumble at the hands of Phangiso.

The away side fell to 74 for seven at one stage, before Smith and Dane Paterson (5) managed to add the highest partnership of the innings – a stand of 32 – that ended on the stroke of stumps with their side still in a huge fix.