Cape Town - Wandile Makwetu's maiden century at first-class level was not enough to thwart the Cape Cobras but was enough to give the Knights hope of salvaging something from their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Paarl on Saturday.
The former South Africa under-19 wicketkeeper, who had managed 99 earlier this season, went a few runs better this time to complete the job of a first three-figure score when he made 101 (194 balls, 14 fours, 3 sixes) on the third day at Boland Park.
The 20-year-old carried his side from 135 for six at the halfway stage of the game to 269 all out - an innings difference of 173. Cobras first-innings centurions, Janneman Malan (51 off 64 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) and David Bedingham (77 not out off 71 balls, 6 fours, 2 sixes), then pasted fiery half-centuries to help the hosts to 220 for three declared and a target of 394, with the Knights closing the day on 16 for none.
That came from nine uncomfortable late overs in an eventful third day, with the home side still holding all the aces heading into the final day.
But the early part of day three did favour the Knights as Makwetu held together the rear half of their line-up. He initially put on 64 with Shadley van Schalkwyk (31) for the seventh wicket and then added 40 with Tshepo Ntuli (21) for the next wicket.
He was finally the last man out, having beaten his previous best score posted against the Momentum Multiply Titans a few months back in Bloemfontein.
Stand-in captain Lizaad Williams (4/93) finished as the pick of the bowlers. Malan and Bedingham followed that with a response of their own as the pair, along with Andre Malan (38) and Jason Smith (41 not out), clobbered the Central Franchise's bowling to all parts of the ground during the 44 overs they faced.
It ensured a quick declaration, although Raynard van Tonder (9) and Grant Mokoena (6) stood firm to the close with 378 still sought for an unlikely win.
- Cricket SA