Sisanda Magala starred with the ball and Eddie Moore with the bat as the Warriors held the advantage after the opening day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Cape Cobras in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Batting first, the visitors slipped from 124/0 to 266 all out, before the hosts replied with 105/1 by the close at St George’s Park.
Magala was at the heart of the strong bowling showing for the Eastern Cape franchise after capturing 3/66, which included the prize wicket of out-of-form Proteas ace Hashim Amla for a duck.
Left-hander Moore then carved an unbeaten 57 (87 balls, 8x4) to help take his side to within 161 runs of the Cobras, who were the runaway leaders heading into the second half of the competition that began this week.
The Cape side had won the toss and opted to bat first at St George’s Park, with their decision looking spot-on initially as top-scorer Pieter Malan (72 off 143 balls, 11x4) and Janneman Malan (67 off 102 balls, 12x4) batted them into a position of power.
But after Magala broke the stand, Basheer Walters (2/32) and Lutho Sipamla (2/46) provided strong support.
Brilliant effort by the @WarriorsCrickEC men today, considering the start we had, and being able to pull it back like that.superb effort. Day 1 gaaaaaaaawnn— sisanda Magala (@sisanda_magala) December 19, 2018
Amla, who continued his struggle for form since returning from a finger injury, fell first ball, while new national face Zubayr Hamza lasted just six balls for his duck.
Simon Khomari (45) and Dane Paterson (41) chipped in with useful runs, but the Cobras were still all out for 266 in 66.2 overs.
Gihahn Cloete (34) helped Moore put on 87 for the first wicket before he fell to Mthiwekhaya Nabe (1/12), but the Warriors still ended the day in the pound seat.
Cricket South Africa