Cape Town - An unbroken 110-run stand between Justin Ontong and Keegan Petersen left the Cape Cobras hanging on by a thread against the Dolphins in their Sunfoil Series clash at Boland Park in Paarl on Friday.
The hosts reached stumps on 132/4 in reply to the visitors' 478.
They still trailed by a massive 346, but the performance of the pair represented somewhat of a fightback after they had slumped to 22/4.
Robbie Frylinck blew the top order away with 3/19 - Cebo Tshiki (9), Pieter Malan (8) and Stiaan van Zyl (0) all his victims.
But after Mthokozisi Shezi (1/23) dismissed Jason Smith (1), the Cape side mounted their recovery through stand-in captain Ontong, who made 66 (111 balls, 9 fours), and Petersen (45).
Earlier, Khaya Zondo extended his career-best franchise score from139 after day one to 157 (254 balls, 27 fours) by the time he was dismissed.
Their two other significant contributions, came from skipper Morne van Wyk after he made 79 (221 balls, 7 fours) and Frylinck, who made 58 (75 balls, 3 fours).
Dane Paterson was the pick of the bowlers for the winless home team with 5/79.