While South Africa prepare for the third and final Test against India in Ranchi, where they are expected to make a few changes to their playing XI, domestic cricketers are doing their best to stake a claim for the home summer.
There were some big performances in the second round of the domestic first-class competition:
The Test hopefuls
Four candidates made their cases particularly strongly. Rassie van der Dussen announced his return to the domestic scene after being with the squad in India with a half-century, Wiaan Mulder was among the runs and the wickets for the Lions in their defeat to the Warriors, whose young quick Lutho Sipamla's eight scalps contributed to his team's three-wicket win at Buffalo Park.
Kyle Verreynne, the Cape Cobras middle-order batsman who scored a century in each innings against the Titans in Benoni, deserves a special mention. His 155 in the first innings was part of a 268-run stand with opener Pieter Malan and rescued the Cobras from 34 for 3. They put up a total of 338 but still conceded a first-innings lead of 134 runs. Verrerynne's second innings 115 helped the Cobras set the Titans a target of 215, and they finished on 89 for 6 in the chase to end the match in a draw
Back-to-back hundreds for Behardien
The Titans' best form of batting resistance came from Farhaan Behardien, who has played 59 ODIs for South Africa but has never been considered at Test level. Behardien scored a second century in the tournament, this time 140, after opening the season with 114 against the Dolphins last week. It was Behardien's 11th first-class hundred, and his average in the format is now over 40. At 36, it is unlikely Behardien will get a national call-up but his experience will fill an important gap in the franchise set-up, which is crying out for senior players to serve as mentors in a system that is in transition.
Best-figures for Bosch
Corbin Bosch, playing in his 12th first-class game, took a career-best 5 for 69 for the Titans in the Cobras' first innings. Opening the bowling, Bosch struck twice within the space of three balls in his opening spell and then three times with the second new ball to keep the Cobras in check. Bosch did not bag the best figures in the match, though. That belonged Dane Paterson whose 7 for 91 ensured the Titans' first-innings total did not balloon over 500.
Other big runs
A high-scoring draw between the Dolphins and the Knights had two players scoring big hundreds. Knights' opening batsman Raynard van Tonder scored 165 and captain Pite van Biljon went even better with 218, his personal best and 18th century in the format. The two were the only Knights batsmen to score more than 50. They only batted once, declaring on 519 for 8, but were unable to push for victory after Dolphins' Cody Chetty led the resistance with an unbeaten 90.