Johannesburg - Thami Tsolekile and Cliffe Deacon both struck half centuries before the Highveld Lions bowlers ran through the Cape Cobras batting line-up to take full control of their Sunfoil Series clash after day two in Cape Town on Friday.
Resuming the day on 78 for one, the visitors posted 270 all out in reply to home side’s 224 on day one Ä a lead of 46 Ä with the log leaders then reaching stumps in all sorts of trouble on 81 for six.
Fast bowlers Hardus Viljoen (2/28) and Ethan O’Reilly (2/10) claimed two wickets apiece to spearhead the charge for the Gauteng franchise with the hosts' lead just 35 at the halfway stage of the game.
It was a complete turnaround after the Cobras had fought back on the second morning.
They took less than five overs to claim their first breakthrough at the start of the day when Lions captain Stephen Cook was bowled by Johann Louw (3/64) for 37.
Four more quick wickets, three of those to Lizaad Williams (4/62), saw the visitors slump to 131 for six.
But a 110-run seventh wicket stand between Tsolekile (58) and Deacon (71) - the pair recording their 26th and 15th first-class half centuries respectively - handed the Lions the advantage before they were rolled over in 92.4 overs.
The Cobras then slumped to 50 for six, before Qaasim Adams (27 not out) batted for close to an hour prior to stumps with the Lions in complete control.
Elsewhere, four wickets from CJ de Villiers helped the Titans take firm control on day two of their clash against the Knights at Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
When bad light brought play to a halt an hour early, the visitors were on 190 for seven in reply to the home side’s 335 all out, still 145 runs behind.
Fast bowler De Villiers, playing against his former team, removed the heart of the Free State side’s middle order for figures of four for 37 in 11 overs.
He claimed the key wickets of Rilee Rossouw (five), Ryan Bailey (40) and Obus Pienaar (eight), with only an unbeaten half century from Rudi Second preventing the Knights from total destruction.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Second, batting at number three was on 64 from 175 deliveries, with Dillon du Preez having just joined him at the crease.
Shaun von Berg took two of the other wickets to fall - Patrick Botha (14) and captain Johan van der Wath (10) - for figures of two for 42, while the initial breakthrough was made by Ethy Mbhalati (1/38) when he cleaned up Michael Erlank for 14.
Earlier, Graeme van Buuren remained stranded on 55 as the defending champions batted a further 11.3 overs on day two, taking their total from 321 for seven to 335.
Seam bowler Malusi Siboto claimed the remaining three wickets to fall to end with the impressive figures of four for 47. - Sapa