East London - The Warriors were hanging on grimly at 133 for eight wickets at stumps in their second innings, an overall lead of 246 runs with two wickets standing at the end of the second day of their SuperSport match against the Cape Cobras at Buffalo Park here Friday.
With wickets tumbling at regular intervals, Warriors skipper Davy Jacobs stood tall and took on the Cobras' bowling attack virtually by himself, finishing the day on 57 not out and ready to fight another day.
With him stood another hero for the Warriors, off-spinner Corbyn Dolley, 4 not out, who so far has safely withstood 32 balls and batted for well over half an hour with the Cobras intent for the kill.
Rory Kleinveldt has been the most successful bowler for the visitors so far, with 3-34 off 14 overs, while left-arm spinner Claude Henderson, who claimed seven wickets in the Warriors' first innings, has only one wicket to his name.
Earlier the Cobras were dismissed for 124 in their first innings. They resumed on their overnight score of 27 for two wickets and lost cheap wickets as the Warriors' bowling attack produced a professional performance, grabbing four wickets in the morning session and keeping the batsmen quiet for long periods.
The tall Alistair Gray produced the best batting performance for the Cobras, moving from his overnight 20 not out to 42 off 80 balls with eight fours. He played a patient innings, waiting for the right ball to hit.
It was speedster Andrew Birch who made the initial break-through when Justin Ontong was caught behind by Davy Jacobs for 10. Three balls later Henry Davids was back in the pavilion, another victim of Birch, who, as he did on Thursday, picked up two wickets in the one over.
Richard Levi and Gray settled in and just as it looked like the two would rescue the Cape team, Levi was leg before wicket to Zander de Bruyn's first ball.
After Gray left, caught behind off Darryl Brown, Ryan Canning and Vernon Philander batted patiently to some excellent, tight bowling and the Cobras reached lunch time under tremendous pressure at 103 for six wickets.
Soon after lunch an ill-judged run by Philander to mid-on saw him millimetres out of his crease to a brilliant direct throw from Riaan Jeggels, and after Canning was clean bowled by Birch, Justin Kreusch (2-6) wrapped up the innings.
Birch finished with /548, his best bowling figures in SuperSport matches. He was aggressive throughout, worked up a good pace and got a bit of lift off the pitch.
The day's play ended early for the second day in a row due to bad light and five overs were lost.
The game is likely to end Saturday - weather permitting - and a lot will rest on the shoulders of Jacobs Saturday in order to set the Cobras an imposing target