Cape Town - The Cape Cobras were enjoying the upper hand when stumps were drawn on day two of their four-day SuperSport Series match against the Eagles at Newlands on Friday.
The Cobras have a 131-run lead with six second innings wickets in hand, after Alastair Gray (72 not out) and skipper Justin Kemp (9 not out) saw out the day's play with the side's total on 120/4.
Earlier in the day, the Eagles were dismissed for 220 in reply to the Cobras' first innings total of 231, which gave the hosts a slender 11-run lead.
But the day belonged to the Cobras paceman Vernon Philander who sparked a dramatic collapse in the Eagles first innings in the post-lunch session.
The Eagles retired for the lunch break at 166/4 (51.4 overs) but 17 overs later they were all out for 220 - six wickets falling for addition of only 54 runs.
Philander captured the wicket of Morne van Wyk (9) seven overs into the session and six overs later he pocketed Con de Lange's (11) scalp.
As it turned out the Eagles first innings lasted only four more overs and they lost a wicket in each of those overs after spinner Robin Peterson joined Philander in the Cobras attack.
None of the last four partnerships yielded more than five runs, and four of the Eagles batsmen failed to get off the mark during this collapse -all this after the Eagles enjoyed an opening partnership stand of 125 runs.
Philander's four post-lunch scalps allowed him to sign off with a fifer (5/58) and Peterson's double strike saw him finish on 3/61. Philander was also the most economical of the Cobras bowlers as he conceded just under three runs to the overs.
The Cobras would have liked to have set a sound second innings platform but they started losing wickets at regular intervals as play wound towards the close on the second day.
Medium paceman Gino Vries snared the first two wickets to fall and he finished on 2/9 in six overs, which included four maidens.
Only Gray stood firm, striking 10 boundaries on his way to a 70 not out at the close.
When play resumes on Saturday, he'll be joined by his skipper Justin Kemp who will be hoping for a few sound partnerships in his side's innings as the day unfolds.