Rowan Richards took five for 38 as Sunfoil Series leaders Knights were bowled out for just 185 on day two in Bloemfontein.
Titans, whose last two first innings wickets added only two to their overnight score as they were all out for 366, then closed on 115 for three to give them an imposing lead of 296 runs.
Malusi Siboto’s rapid wrapping up of the Titans first innings meant that Knights had enjoyed a dream start to the second day, but they were soon up against it as Richards and Marchant de Lange picked up a wicket apiece to leave the scoreboard reading five for two in the third over.
In truth, they never really recovered in spite of a knock of 64 from opener Reeza Hendricks and a useful late cameo from Siboto (40 off 37 balls). Richards followed up his dismissal of Cloete by having Rudi Second (14) and Pite van Biljon (2) sent back in quick succession and then returned to help finish the innings with the wickets of Siboto and Quinton Friend.
Warriors are just edging ahead in Pietermaritzburg. They progressed from their overnight 290 for five to make 353 as Wayne Parnell ended unbeaten on 74 off 105 balls to help counter the threat from Imran Tahir (4-83) and Robbie Frylinck (3-59).
Dolphins then lost Imraan Khan to Parnell’s very first ball, but rallied around an innings of 71 from Vaughn van Jaarsveld to close on 262 for eight. Van Jaarsveld and David Miller (38) added 74 for the fourth-wicket, with Ryan McLaren (38 not out), Thandi Tshabalala (30) and Tahir (21 not out) then chipping in. Off-spinner Simon Harmer ended with three for 102, while Andrew Birch and Parnell collected a brace apiece.
It is fairly evenly poised in Cape Town where Cape Cobras closed on 214 for four to trail Lions by 199 runs. Lions were finally bowled out for 413 in the first part of the day as Dwaine Pretorius built on yesterday’s effort from Dominic Hendricks and Neil McKenzie by hitting a fluent 53 and Chris Morris (37), Kagiso Rabada (27) and Pumelela Matshikwe (24) all added useful cameos.
It appeared for a while that the visitors might take the upper hand as Cobras slipped steadily to 76 for four; Pretorius striking twice in removing Richard Levi (38) and Yaseen Vallie (7), who is now back from his loan deal with Warriors. However, skipper Justin Ontong and wicket-keeper Dane Vilas added an unbroken 138 for the fifth-wicket before stumps. The former ended on 60 off 135 balls, with the latter on 63 off 104.
He worked for CricketWorld.com for almost three years, leading their county and domestic cricket coverage and contributing to a book about the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, before joining the hugely ambitious World Cricket Badger early in 2014.
The first Test that he remembers watching was on Channel 4 - back before the ECB marginalised potential future fans by selling the TV rights to Sky Sports - when England beat Pakistan by an innings and nine runs at Lord’s.
Besides a passion for domestic cricket, he also has an unexplainable interest in all things Zimbabwe cricket!
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