The WSB Cape Cobras dominated the opening day of the Four-Day Domestic Series match against the Multiply Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Monday, ending the day with a lead of 134 runs with two wickets still intact in the first innings.
The Titans had won the toss and elected to bat first, but found the going tough as they struggled to 67 for six in the opening session. Theunis de Bruyn was the one shining light amongst the batsmen and after lunch he and Shaun von Berg played positively to try and shift the momentum, adding 44 off just 35 balls for the seventh wicket.
But Von Berg then edged the medium-pace of Jason Smith into the slips and was dismissed for a bright 22, and the wicket of De Bruyn followed in controversial fashion. De Bruyn had scored a determined 61, putting away the loose balls very well as he collected nine fours, when he whipped Dane Paterson off his pads, only to find Tladi Bokako on the fine leg boundary. The fielder seemed to have stepped on the rope before tossing the ball back infield and then completing the catch, but the umpires sent the Proteas Test batsman on his way.
Bokako had also struck the early blows with the ball as he finished with four for 57, while Paterson wrapped up the innings with three for 34.
The Titans were bundled out for just 122 and the situation only got uglier for them as some messy bowling saw the Cape Cobras rattle up 256 for eight by stumps.
David Bedingham came in at 18 for two and took charge of the innings with a masterful 84 off 89 balls, while Kyle Verreynne (42) and Jason Smith (44*) were also able to administer some vital blows with the bat as the Cobras sailed past the Titans’ meagre first-innings total.
Leg-spinner Von Berg, leading the Titans for the first time, took four for 51 and seamer Alfred Mothoa bowled tidily to take two for 55, but the home side is going to have to wrap up the Cobras innings quickly on the second morning and then bat very well if they are to set the visitors a challenging target and take advantage of any deterioration in the sporty pitch.