Cape Town - Half-centuries by Pieter and Janneman Malan followed a fighting bowling display by the Cape Cobras as they hit back on the second day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
Having begun day two behind in the game, they hit back well through three wickets each from Mthiwekhaya Nabe (3/43) and Dane Piedt (3/56) to dismiss the hosts for 252 at St George’s Park.
This after the Eastern Cape franchise had started the day on 105 for one in reply to 266, with the Malans then helping the visiting side reach stumps on 148 for one – a lead of 162 at the midway point of the game.
But the comeback began with the bowlers as seamer Nabe removed Colin Ackermann (9) in the second over of play, before taking out Yaseen Vallie (0) two overs later.
Spinner Piedt accounted for top-scorer Eddie Moore for 75 (133 balls, 12 fours), leaving the Warriors in a mess on 143 for four.
An 86-run stand between Jon-Jon Smuts (63 off 124 balls, 11 fours) and Sinethemba Qeshile (41) handed control back to the Warriors as they moved to within 37 runs of the Cobras with five wickets still in hand.
However, two run-outs, and the bowling of Piedt and Dane Paterson (2/40) left the game evenly balanced at that stage.
But the Malans, led by run-machine Pieter, who made his sixth 50 plus score this season on his way to 61 (102 balls, 7 fours), shifted the course of the game.
Even though the leading run-scorer of the competition did eventually fall, Janneman continued his charge and was unbeaten on 77 (130 balls, 11 fours) at stumps.
With him was the out-of-form Hashim Amla on eight off 27 balls and hoping to get some runs under his belt ahead of the Test series against Pakistan starting next week.