Captain Dane Piedt rescued the Cape Cobras innings with his maiden first-class century. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN – A maiden first-class century by Dane Piedt highlighted the penultimate day of the 4-Day Domestic Series encounter between the Knights and the Cape Cobras in Bloemfontein on Sunday.

The visiting captain made 114 (145 balls, 11x4, 3x6) to surpass his previous best score of 92 made against the Highveld Lions in 2013/14 to help his side amass 470 – in response to the hosts’ first-innings 319.

But the reply of the Central Franchise went well through day three after they reached the close on 135/1 – whittling down the 151 deficit to trail by just 16.

First-innings star Keegan Petersen was again going well with an unbeaten 59 (99 balls, 9x4), while former South Africa Under-19 captain Raynard van Tonder (56 off 114 balls, 9x4) was also excelling alongside him.

The log-leading Cobras had started day three well-placed on 249/4, but quickly lost overnight pair Jason Smith (30), their other centurion David Bedingham (114 off 145 balls, 11 fours, 3 sixes) and Dane Paterson (11).

Shadley van Schalkwyk (4/67) did most of the damage, which saw the Cobras slip to 281/7 and in danger of surrendering their good position.

But Piedt shared a 47-run eighth-wicket stand with Lizaad Williams (18), before adding a remarkable competition record partnership with Mthiwekhaya Nabe.

The pair added 132 for the ninth wicket, breaking a record set six years ago by Simon Harmer and Ayabulela Gqamane of 129 for the Warriors against the Titans in 2012/13.

Nabe played an equally important role as Piedt by scoring his highest first-class score of 68 (87 balls, 9x4, 1x6) – a splendid effort, considering his previous best score was only 12.

That boosted the Cape side to a strong position, and they seized even more control of the game when Nabe removed Grant Mokoena for 15 to leave the Knights on 22/1.

But Petersen and Van Tonder kept their side in the game, the latter thanks to his second franchise 50, as the game was left finely poised at the Mangaung Oval.

Cricket South Africa