THE Chevrolet Warriors took full control of their first Sunfoil Series match of the season against the Nashua Titans at Axxess St. George’s Park on Saturday.
The Warriors need just seven wickets for a very convincing win when they resume play on the final day, thanks to a solid foundation set by the opening pair of Michael Price and Davy Jacobs. The home side need seven wickets while the Titans will need something special to hold on for a draw or eke out an improbable win.
Resuming day three with the two openers still unbeaten at the crease, after they notched up a century partnership on day two, Price and Jacobs piled on the runs to help build a solid 260-run lead at the lunch interval.
Price, who flopped in the first innings, put in a solid effort, bringing up his century just before the lunch interval while Jacobs, who is back from injury after a lengthy lay-off, stood firm and played a mature, supporting role at the other end.
Shortly after lunch, Price was dismissed when he was struck on his pads off the bowling of CJ de Villiers, and the home team lost their first wicket after taking the lead well past 200. Jacobs also brought up his 100, a very mature knock which lasted over five hours before falling to De Villiers, getting a thin edge through to the keeper, with the Warriors still in firm control on 232-2.
JJ Smuts and Ashwell Prince fell cheaply, giving the Titans some solace, but Colin Ingram and Kelly Smuts stood firm to guide the Warriors to 303-4 at tea, a lead of 363 firmly in place.
Ingram blasted his way to 58 off 69 while the Titans bowlers toiled and the Warriors took the game by the scruff of the neck and declared after they set the visitors an imposing 414 for victory.
After the declaration, things continued to go the Warriors’ way as Andrew Birch struck early to claim the big wicket of Jacques Rudolph.
A beautiful ball from Birch sent Rudolph’s off-stump clattering and he was swept up by his ecstatic teammates in vehement celebrations.
Just a few overs before close of play, Gurshwin Rabie struck twice in one over to leave the Titans reeling as he got rid of Tumelo Bodibe, who was caught leg before for 15, and dismissing nightwatchman Paul Harris for a duck by clean bowling him.
Henry Davids and Pieter Malan managed to hold the fort to take the Titans to 40-3, until bad light brought an end to the day's play, but with the home team with their tails up, a tough task awaits the defending champions.