Cape Town - Career-best scores by Wiaan Mulder, Kagiso Rapulana and Nono Pongolo helped put the Highveld Lions in a dominant position after the third day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Knights at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
The performances of the trio helped the visitors record an excellent 490 all out, a lead of 133 on first-innings scores, with the hosts then limping to stumps on 95 for five, still behind by 38.
It was a wonderful all-round day for title-chasing Lions, who initially saw centuries from Mulder and Rapulana as well as a maiden franchise 50 from Pongolo.
The medium-pacer was then the key man with the ball as he nabbed three for 24 to leave the hosts starring down the barrel.
The Johannesburg-based side started the second half of the fixture on 279 for five with the Rapulana-Mulder stand extended to 126 for the sixth wicket, before the latter was eventually dismissed by Thandolwethu Mnyaka (1/85).
It was his highest score at four-day level and Mulder then went on to record his biggest score overall at first-class level by finishing up on a superb 146 (243 balls, 16 fours).
Before that he had added 91 for the eighth wicket alongside Pongolo, who made a franchise-high 52 (74 balls, 7 fours).
Patrick Kruger was the pick of the bowlers for the Knights after collecting five for 60, his maiden five-for at this level.
Pongolo, Nandre Burger (1/20) and Malusi Siboto (1/28) then sliced through the Central Franchise’s top order to leave them on 60 for five, before Andries Gous (27 not out) helped the hosts fight back by the close.