Honours even on day one in Kimberley

Jon-Jon Smuts of the Warriors

Jon-Jon Smuts of the Warriors

Raynard van Tonder recorded a half-century but four wickets from Jon-Jon Smuts meant the Warriors fought back to end the opening day of the new 4-Day Domestic Series season with honours even against the VKB Knights in Kimberley on Monday.


The hosts had plenty of starts after winning the toss and batting at the Diamond Oval, but they failed to really capitalise and reached stumps on 292 for seven.


Van Tonder led the way with his assured 52 off 95 balls (9 fours) and shared in an opening stand of 110 with Grant Mokoena, who scored 48.


That solid foundation would have given the home side plenty of cause for optimism, but the away side subsequently clawed their way back, mainly through Smuts’ four for 54 in 28 overs, and also two for 63 by Andrew Birch.


After the opening stand was ended by the latter dismissing the top-scorer, the Standard Bank Proteas all-rounder struck to remove Mokoena with the score on 138.


It was regular pickings from there with Keegan Petersen (31) and captain Pite van Biljon (35) also getting starts, before being dismissed by the same two bowlers.


Two more blows by Smuts left the Knights in a further fix, before Patrick Kruger’s 48 got them going slightly until he too fell, becoming the last wicket of the day to be taken by Lutho Sipamla (1/57) – with the score on 260.


Debutant Marco Jansen then struck an unbeaten 21 and shared an unbroken 32-run stand with Gerald Coetzee (11) helping carry their side to the close without further loss.