Knights all-rounder Ryan McLaren remained unbeaten on 74 at the close on day one against the Warriors. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

A maiden franchise century by Andries Gous helped the Knights recover from a disastrous start to reach a fighting 276/8 after the opening day of their 4-Day Series encounter against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

The 24-year-old, playing just his second match in four-day cricket, hit 135 (221 balls, 20 fours, 3 sixes), which was also the highest score of his career.

He shared in a critical 159-run sixth wicket stand with Ryan McLaren, who was unbeaten on 74 by the close at St George’s Park.

However, things should have been much better for the visitors after the big stand by the pair. 

They were on 253/5, but then lost 3/18 to allow the home side back into control, with Anrich Nortjé the chief destroyer thanks to his 5/65 – the fourth five-for of his career.

The day did not start well at all for the Knights after they had won the toss and opted to bat first as Nortjé dismissed Luthando Mnyanda (0) second ball, before Keegan Petersen (3) fell from the ninth delivery of the morning.

Grant Mokoena (10) and Rudi Second (4) also fell in quick succession, leaving the Central Franchise on 39/4 at one stage. 

Pite van Biljon (34) initially led the recovery, before Gous’ sixth career ton completed it.

However, the new ball then undid most of the work, with Nortjé and Lutho Sipamla (2/61) putting the Warriors in the pound seat at the close.

Cricket South Africa