Johannesburg - Warriors opening bowler Andrew Birch took two wickets in the fifth over of the day to spark a fightback which saw the Cape Cobras struggling on 137 for seven when play ended on the second day of their Sunfoil Series match in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
After the Cobras called the shots on the opening day, shooting out the home side for 203, the Eastern Cape franchise fought back courageously and will be keen to finish off the Cobras innings on Saturday morning to try to gain an unlikely first innings lead.
Birch removed Richard Levi and Keegan Petersen in the space of four deliveries and despite a fighting 45 by Omphile Ramela, the Cobras were never able to gain any sort of ascendancy.
Birch ended with two for 36 and Basheer Walters lent excellent support by dismissing Ramela and then claiming the important scalp of Justin Kemp in the final over of the day.
In between, Aya Gqamane effected a run out and Sisanda Magala and Simon Harmer each picked up a wicket to ensure the Warriors kept the visiting batsmen in check.
LIONS BATSMEN IMPRESS
In Benoni, the Lions lost four wickets for two runs at one stage, but still managed to total an impressive 485 for seven declared in their clash against the Titans. At the close, the Titans had advanced to 27 without loss.
After Stephen Cook (122) and Neil McKenzie (47) had taken the Lions total to 311 for two, Juan de Villiers struck three times and Rowan Richards once as the visitors slumped to 313 for six. Three of the wickets fell with the score on 313.
However, any joy the Titans may have felt was quickly blunted by Dale Deeb (89 not out) and Dwaine Pretorius (67) as they kept the home side in the field for a further 40 overs while adding 137 for the seventh wicket.
DOLPHINS IN CHARGE
In Kimberley, Knights off-spinner Patrick Botha took career-best figures of seven for 89 as the Dolphins were dismissed for 452 in their first innings. Despite Botha's effort, the visitors remained in control as they claimed four Knights wickets before the close to have them under some pressure at 128 for four.
The home side looked in good shape when they reached 91 for one, but Daryn Dupavillon took two wickets late in the day to spark a mini-collapse which could translate into a decent first innings lead for the Dolphins.