Cape Town - Stephen Cook's 34th first-class century set Highveld Lions on their way to victory over the Warriors on the third day of their Sunfoil Series clash at Bidvest Wanderers.
Cook turned his overnight 62 into an unbeaten 168, driving the Lions to a second-innings total of 294 for four declared that set the Warriors a target of 423 to win in four-and-a-half sessions.
The Lions looked set to wrap up the game swiftly when they reduced the Warriors to 39 for four, with Hardus Viljoen clinching his seventh and eighth scalps in the match, but Colin Ackermann and Clyde Fortuin dug in to see the Warriors to stumps on 104 for four.
Starting the day on 98 without loss and an overall lead of 226, the Lions held a commanding position that they were unlikely to relinquish.
Although his partner, Rassie van der Dussen (28), was bowled by Basheeru-Deen Walters in the fourth over of the day, Cook received support from Yassar Cook (35) and Dominic Hendricks (21) before a quick stand with Nicky van den Bergh preceded the declaration midway through the second session.
Viljoen ended an erratic first over by bowling David White as the Warriors reply began, and in the next over Yaseen Vallie was trapped lbw by Dwaine Pretorius.
Viljoen’s third over brought the dismissal of Somila Seyibokwe to leave the Warriors eight for three, and half an hour later Pumelela Matshikwe drew an edge from the bat of Colin Ingram which Cook held at slip.
Ackermann and Fortuin held up the Lions’ charge thereafter, and reached stumps on 45 and 34 respectively, but a great deal of work remains on the final day if they are to hold off Viljoen and company.