Gihahn Cloete scored a half century as the Warriors started well in their four day match against the Highveld Lions on Monday. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

PORT ELIZABETH - A half-century from Gihahn Cloete and solid 40s from three other Warriors batsmen put them in a strong position after the opening day of their Domestic 4-Day Series encounter against the bizhub Highveld Lions in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

The left-handed opener, fresh off an excellent 2017/18 season, made 81 (123 balls, 13 fours) at St George's Park to lead the way for the hosts as they reached stumps on 305 for seven.

Eddie Moore (41), Yaseen Vallie (44) and Sinethemba Qeshile (47 not out) were the three that played support roles after the visitors had won the toss and opted to bowl first in new coach Enoch Nkwe’s first game in charge.

The Lions battled to make early inroads as Moore and Cloete put on 84 for the opening wicket, followed by 67 between the latter and Vallie for the second. There was a period of fight from the away side thereafter as Vallie, Jon-Jon Smuts (31), Lesiba Ngoepe (2) and Clyde Fortuin (0) all fell in quick succession.

Aaron Phangiso, the pick of the bowlers with four for 56, took three of those wickets with the Warriors sliding from 191 for two to 210 for six. Qeshile and Sisanda Magala (27) then rallied with a 63-run seventh wicket stand to put their side back in control.

The advantage was driven home late in the day thanks to a frustrating unbeaten 32-run partnership between the former and Andrew Birch (16 not out) that handed the advantage to Rivash Gobind’s men.

Cricket South Africa

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