Cape Town - Tladi Bokako led a magical bowling performance by the Cape Cobras as they skittled the champion Titans for just 122 on the opening day of their 4-Day Domestic Series battle in Centurion on Monday.
Rookie David Bedingham then struck an attacking 84 off 89 balls (13 fours, 1 six) to drive home the advantage as the top-of-the-table visitors reached stumps on 256 for eight - a significant 134-run lead at SuperSport Park.
It made for a riveting start to the high-profile encounter in which the Cape side strongly underlined their credentials for the title.
And they were led brilliantly by the bowlers, with Bokako leading the way after they had lost the toss and were asked to bowl first. The 25-year-old, an off-season signing from the Warriors, has already made good progress since his move by taking nine wickets in the competition thus far and he improved on that by adding four for 57.
He removed openers Dean Elgar and Tony de Zorzi, both for one, inside the first 3.4 overs to leave the Titans on the back foot from the outset.
From five for two early on, they progressed to 67 for six as Bokako, Jason Smith (2/21) and Mtiwekhaya Nabe (1/7) all struck.
But innings top-scorer Theunis de Bruyn, who made 61 (92 balls, 9 fours), then combined with captain Shaun von Berg (21) for a stand of 44 to add some respectability to the score, before Proteas quick Dane Paterson (3/34) mopped up the tail with the Titans blown away in 37.4 overs.
The in-form Pieter Malan (4) and brother Janneman (10) were both removed early by Eldred Hawken (1/45) and Alfre Mothoa (2/55), before Bedingham, in just his third franchise match, combined with Zubayr Hamza (28) first and then Kyle Verreynne (42) to rebuild the innings at 157 for four.
He eventually was the fifth wicket to fall to Von Berg - the Titans captain impressing with four for 51 - but Smith and Cobras captain Dane Piedt (22) added 61 for the seventh wicket to completely seize the initiative.
The log leaders ended the day with all-rounder Smith unbeaten on 44 off 53 balls, while Bokako was with him on 8.