Cape Town - Dwaine Pretorius played the innings of his franchise cricket career as the Highveld Lions recovered from an innocuous start to reach stumps in their must-win Sunfoil Series clash against the Titans in command in Centurion on Thursday.
The all-rounder struck 118 (171 balls, 13 fours, 3 sixes), his fourth career ton, to help the visitors close on 411/7 at SuperSport Park.
This after a they had slipped to 156/5 earlier in the day thanks to three wickets for Marchant de Lange (3/94) after winning the toss and opting to bat first against the table-topping hosts in the Jukskei derby.
Captain Stephen Cook (6) had a rare failure, while kingpin batsmen Dominic Hendricks (38), Temba Bavuma (27) and Alviro Petersen (34) all failed to capitalise on good starts, leaving it to the lower order to rescue the third-placed Lions.
And they duly obliged with Nicky van den Bergh, who made a brisk 69 (88 balls, 11 fours, 1 six), adding 108 with Pretorius for the sixth wicket, before rookie spinner Bjorn Fortuin, with an unbeaten 69 (87 balls, 11 fours, 1 six) provided superb support in a 144-run seventh wicket stand.
That eventually ended with the fall of Pretorius in the penultimate over of the day.
Tabraiz Shamsi was the man to dismiss him and end the stand to finish day one with figures of 3/100.