Potchefstroom - Five wickets from Kyle Abbott gave the Dolphins a fighting chance of claiming their first victory in the domestic four-day season after reaching the end of day two in control against the Highveld Lions in Potchefstroom on Friday.
The Proteas seamer bagged five for 34, his ninth career five-wicket haul, as the visitors blew away their hosts for just 214, a lead of 127 on first innings totals.
He received good support from English import Graham Onions, who finally came good for the Durban side by claiming three for 43, with the Dolphins then reaching stumps on 70 for two.
The Lions had resumed on eight for two and they lost a further three wickets with just 100 on the board.
Opener Dominic Hendricks top scored with 41, while Temba Bavuma struck 39 as the home side were all out in 72.1 overs.
The Dolphins then raced to 64 for none when Junior Dala removed Imraan Khan (35) and Khaya Zondo (nought) within three deliveries, but they still managed to end the day in complete charge with a lead of 197.
Elsewhere defending champions Cape Cobras failed to build on some early damage with the new ball as the Knights recovered to reach the close at Newlands on an impressive 187 for four having earlier dismissed the hosts for 315.
Beginning on 275 for six, the Cape Town side lost their last four wickets for 40 runs as Quinton Friend finished with four for 52 and Ryan McLaren bagged two for 68.
The Free Staters were then two wickets down with just one run on the board Ä Rory Kleinveldt (1/37) and Beuran Hendricks (2/36), the tournament top wicket-taker, were ruthless inside the first five overs.
Reeza Hendricks and Gihahn Cloete both fell for ducks and the further wickets of Rilee Rossouw (38) and Rudi Second (21) put the Knights in further strife on 90 for four.
But an unbroken 97-run partnership between Pite van Biljon (58) and McLaren (43) ensured the visitors had all to play for at 128
behind and with still six wickets in hand.
Finally in Port Elizabeth, two wickets apiece from Wayne Parnell and Jon-Jon Smuts helped the Warriors reach the halfway stage of their match against the Titans in control at St. George's Park.
After amassing 502 for five declared, the hosts had reduced the Pretoria visitors to 180 for six by the close, a massive 322 behind.
Resuming at the start on 358 for three, the home side continued to pile on the misery for the visitors with Ashwell Prince and Smuts both recording half centuries.
However, overnight centurion Colin Ackermann failed to add to his 110 when he fell fifth ball to David Wiese leg before wicket.
But a 107 fifth-wicket stand between Prince and Smuts extended the Warriors advantage with the former out for 78, his 81st first-class half century, while the latter remained not out on exactly 50 Ä the 21st of his career.
The home side went past 500 in the 126th over, before immediately declaring.
Parnell (2/36) then struck in the third over, trapping Francois le Clus (one) lbw, with Jacques Rudolph (16) and Henry Davids (35) both falling before the 100 was raised.
Wiese (52) top-scored before he was one of Smuts' two victims for 19 as the visitors reached the close in trouble.