The Nashua Titans fought back to nullify some of the bizhub Highveld Lions’ early advantage to give themselves some chance of salvaging a result in their Sunfoil Series clash at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Thursday.
The home side were all out for 303 and the visitors managed to make it to stumps unscathed for a tricky five overs as they closed the day on 23-0, still 280 runs behind with Pieter Malan and Jacques Rudolph at the crease.
Dominic Hendricks, Temba Bavuma and Zander de Bruyn all chipped in with solid knocks, but the Nashua Titans fought back with David Wiese picking up three wickets.
The Nashua Titans won the toss and chose to field under cloudy skies and Ethy Mbhalati, playing in his hundredth first-class match, made an early breakthrough when he dismissed Stephen Cook for five, as the opener mistimed a shot off his front foot and his stumps went clattering.
Opener Dominic Hendricks and Temba Bavuma then combined and raced to a 112-run partnership, including a late charge from Bavuma which saw the right-hander whack four fours in the over before lunch off the bowling of Juan de Villiers.
Both batsmen notched up their fifties with Hendricks going to the break unbeaten on 51 off 86 balls while Bavuma was on 56 off 63 balls as the pair took their team to lunch on 124-1.
Rowan Richards struck shortly after lunch, dismissing Bavuma who edged through to the keeper after the bowler foxed him and drew him forward in his crease. Bavuma had to depart after a brisk 62 off 73 balls.
Hendricks followed after compiling 74 off 135 balls after missing a sweep off Roelof van der Merwe and the batsman was dismissed leg before wicket.
Neil McKenzie failed to make an impact as he was out for 12 off Wiese's bowling as the bizhub Highveld Lions continued to slump after the break.
Thami Tsolekile managed just 23 before he got a delivery which bounced a touch more than expected and was caught in the gully.
Wickets continued to tumble and it was only De Bruyn's late rally of 65 off 140 balls which helped the bizhub Highveld Lions get to a par score when he combined for a 41-run tenth wicket partnership with Imran Tahir before being dismissed leg-before off Von Berg's bowling.
bizhub Highveld Lions: Stephen Cook, Dominic Hendricks (wk), Temba Bavuma, Neil McKenzie, Zander De Bruyn, Thami Tsolekile, Brett Pelser, Cliffie Deacon, Chris Morris, Hardus Viljoen, Imran Tahir.
Nashua Titans: Jacques Rudolph, Pieter Malan, Henry Davids, Heino Kuhn, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), David Wiese, Shaun von Berg, Ethy Mbhalati, JP de Villiers, Rowan Richards, Roelof van der Merwe