Johannesburg – Rory Kleinveldt took seven for 34 to tear through the Titans batting line-up and leave the Cape Cobras in firm control of their domestic four-day series match at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday.
The Titans had started the third day on 183 for four, in reply to the Cobras' 429, but Kleinveldt ripped through on Saturday morning to dismiss them for 198.
The international seamer, in his first match after a calf niggle, took five wickets for four runs in 24 deliveries with the second new ball, swinging the ball beautifully.
The trouble for the Titans began in the second over of the day when top-scorer Graeme van Buuren ran himself out for 85. He and bowler Dane Piedt both thought a stroke he had played to the boundary would go for four, but fielder Stiaan van Zyl's slick work saw the batsman run out, opening an end for Kleinveldt to work his magic.
Mangaliso Mosehle fell for four and Shaun von Berg was bowled shouldering arms for his third successive duck in the first over with the second new ball, and Kleinveldt also removed JP de Villiers and Vincent Moore without scoring.
Andrew Puttick, with a great knock of 102 not out, and the prolific Van Zyl, with a fluent 86, then piled on the runs as the Cobras declared their second innings on 212 for two in 56.4 overs, leaving the Titans with an unlikely target of 444 for victory.
The Titans reached 62 for two by stumps, with Heino Kuhn (31 not out) and Van Buuren (17 not out) the batsmen at the crease.
The Paarl pitch is favouring the spinners though and Piedt has already taken two for 28 in eight overs.
At the Wanderers, Rilee Rossouw roared to a century to keep the ear of the national selectors, scoring an excellent 107 as the Knights made 329 for six declared in their first innings.
The Lions reached 54 for two in reply before bad light, followed by a large thunderstorm ended play for the day.
The loss of another session - no play was possible on the first day or in the first session of the second day - has meant that a result is highly unlikely.
But the match has allowed 23-year-old Knights debutant Gerhardt Abrahams to announce his arrival in franchise cricket, as he belted a 34-ball 50 not out, while Rudi Second scored 51.
In East London, the Dolphins made 257 for eight in their second innings, meaning their lead over the Warriors has stretched to 356.
The Dolphins failure to declare yet could be questioned, but off-spinner Simon Harmer made life tough for the batsmen as he took five for 100 in 26 overs.
The Dolphins' total was built around the second-wicket stand of 84 between Divan van Wyk (58) and Khaya Zondo (49) and the fifth-wicket stand of 70 between Sarel Erwee (64 not out) and Morne van Wyk (41).
Erwee, the left-handed debutant from the KZN Inland team, has struck 10 fours off 110 balls.
The Cobras have now extended their lead on the domestic series log to 10.16 points over the Knights. – Sapa