Johannesburg - An unbeaten century from Gihahn Cloete and another big score from Rudi Second guided the Chevrolet Knights out of trouble and gave them a small chance of pushing for victory in their Sunfoil Series encounter with the bizhub Highveld Lions at Senwes Park.
With the Knights conceding a 101-run deficit on first innings a sturdy batting effort was required, and Cloete and Second put on an unbroken stand of 129 for the third wicket to take their side to 267 for two at stumps on day three.
That gave the Knights an overall lead of 166 with eight wickets in hand, which should allow them to test the nerves of the Lions batsmen in the final two sessions of the match.
The Lions had begun day three on 311 for seven in their first innings, and saw overnight batsmen Hardus Viljoen and Aaron Phangiso add a further 31 before Viljoen was dismissed by Dillon du Preez for 59.
After Werner Coetsee had taken care of Kagiso Rabada, Du Preez then had Phangiso caught behind for 28 to bring the innings to a close on 368 and finish with figures of 5 for 54.
Fired up by his fourth first-class fifty, Viljoen then had Reeza Hendricks caught at first slip with the second ball of the Knights innings, but Cloete and Gerhardt Abrahams overcame that setback with a 138-run stand that wiped out the deficit.
After Abrahams had been bowled by Viljoen, Cloete and Second maintained the stability to reach the close on 112 and 72 respectively.