Werner Coetsee grabbed two wickets to leave the Chevrolet Warriors on 79 for two at stumps on the first day of their SuperSport Series match against the Chevrolet Knights at Axxess DSL St George’s in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
The Knights, after being bowled out for 240, had looked down and out as the Warriors moved to 42 without loss before off-spinner Coetsee picked up 2-21 off nine overs as the Knights battled their way back into the contest.
Michael Price (17) and David White put on 42 runs for the first wicket before Price was superbly caught by Boeta Dippenaar in the gully, who pulled off a one-handed grab, off the bowling of Coetsee.
Debutant White had looked in good touch as he made his way to 32 before the 20-year-old right-handed batsman was trapped leg-before by Coetsee.
Despite Coetsee’s efforts the Knights only hold a 161-run first-innings lead over their opponents with Ashwell Prince (13 not out) and Jon-Jon Smuts (17 not out) the not out men at the close.
The Knights, after winning the toss and electing to bat, were bowled out just under half-an-hour after tea with seamer Gurshwin Rabie claiming 4-69 off 17 overs.
The Knights had been in awful trouble as they crashed to 103 for seven before a wonderful 135-run eight-wicket stand between Johan van der Wath and Ryan McLaren added some respectability to the score.
Van der Wath was in a particularly belligerent mood as he blazed his way to 79 off 80 balls with eight fours and four sixes while McLaren was a touch more circumspect as he scored 74 not out off 158 deliveries which included 10 fours and a six.
However, both men enjoyed some luck with Van der Wath being dropped twice during his innings while McLaren was also dropped.
The enterprising stand was finally broken when Van der Wath slapped a delivery from seamer Lyall Meyer to Jon-Jon Smuts at deep midwicket, one of four catches that Jon-Jon Smuts took during the innings.
The Knights had elected to bat under an overcast sky and they were soon in trouble thanks to a new-ball spell from Rabie which netted him figures of 3-13 off seven overs.
Michael Erlank (0), Rilee Rossouw (10), Reeza Hendricks (11) and Boeta Dippenaar (0), playing in his last first-class match, were all dismissed cheaply as the Knights slipped to 22 for four.
Morne van Wyk (12) and Coetsee (38) steadied the innings with a fifth-wicket stand of 40 before Van Wyk was trapped leg-before by medium-pacer Kelly Smuts.
Coetsee and Aubrey Swanepoel (4) then departed in relatively quick succession before Van der Wath and McLaren launched their rescue effort.
Chevrolet Warriors – Michael Price, Kelly Smuts, Jon-Jon Smuts, Ashwell Prince, Arno Jacobs (capt, wk), Craig Thyssen, Simon Harmer, David White, Basheer Walters, Lyall Meyer, Gurshwin Rabie.
Chevrolet Knights – Reeza Hendricks, Michael Erlank, Rilee Rossouw, Boeta Dippenaar, Morne van Wyk (capt, wk) , Werner Coetsee, Ryan McLaren, Aubrey Swanepoel, Johan van der Wath, Quinton Friend, Malusi Siboto.