Jonathan Vandiar made his 102 off just 153 balls for the Titans against the Knights. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

A century by Jonathan Vandiar ensured the Titans were in the driving seat after the third day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Knights at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The burly left-hander made 102 (153 balls, 18x4, 1x6) as the visitors progressed from their day two score of 89/2 to 242 all out in their second innings.

It left the hosts needing 345 for victory, and they got more than half of those runs during the remainder of the day, but were still precariously placed on 163/4.

Most of their hopes rested with Rudi Second, who was unbeaten on 22 off 61 balls, with all-rounder Ryan McLaren (11) the last of the recognised batters with him as the Knights were left still needing 152.

Earlier on, they had Shadley van Schalkwyk to thank for helping them dismiss the Titans in 68.5 overs.

The seamer grabbed 5/80 – his fifth career five-wicket haul – that ensured the central franchise were still well in the game heading into the final innings.

Apart from Vandiar’s ninth first-class ton, there was not much else to speak of for the away side.

Heinrich Klaasen managed 40, while Chris Morris chipped in with 20, with Duanne Olivier bagging 3/31.

Facing a stiff target, the home side lost Keegan Petersen early when he fell to Alfred Mothoa (1/15) for a duck, before Grant Mokoena’s 45 gave them hope.

The opener shared a 69-run second-wicket stand with top-scorer Andries Gous (68 off 103 balls, 12 fours), before he was bowled by Chris Morris (1/44).

Tabraiz Shamsi (1/35) and Tshepo Moreki (1/43) removed Gous and captain Pite van Biljon (8) to leave the Knights in trouble, before the Second-McLaren stand helped their side fight through to the close.

Cricket South Africa