The Cape Cobras, struggling to survive after a poor opening day when they were bowled out for 156, showed their fighting spirit at Newlands on Friday.
First, they restricted the Dolphins to a lead of 114 in the first innings, with Dane Paterson taking 5-60, and then Stiaan van Zyl led from the front to pick up his 17th first-class hundred, enabling the Cobras to close on 196-3, a lead of 82, with seven wickets in hand.
The Dolphins were looking to bat the Cobras out of the game when they resumed their innings on 158-2, but they lost Khaya Zondo (28) and Daryn Smit (10) in the opening hour of the day. Cody Chetty (47) and Morne van Wyk (49) put on 71 for the fifth wicket to extend the lead to 100, but when Van Wyk was dismissed by Paterson after facing 163 balls (10×4), the innings collapsed. They lost the next five wickets for just 14 runs.
It was a decent lead, but Richard Levi and Van Zyl combined to make a sizeable inroad with an opening stand of 67, at which point Keshav Maharaj took his seventh wicket of the match, trapping Levi lbw for 41 after a cavalier innings of 38 balls, with seven fours and a six. He added Omphile Ramela (34) to his collection after a stand of 109, and Van Zyl followed soon after, run out just before the close.
At the crease were Andrew Puttick (6) and nightwatchman Mthokozisi Shezi (0)