Mbulelo Budaza’s splendid four-wicket haul helped the Knights gain a stronghold over the Warriors on the second day of their 4-Day Domestic Series match in East London on Tuesday.
Essentially day one of what has become a three-day game after the first day was rained out, the hosts were shot out for just 141, before Raynard van Tonder’s half-century drove the visitors’ reply of 149-3.
That left them already eight runs ahead and in prime position to push on in what has become a key fixture for both teams in their pursuit of catching the log-leading Lions.
Budaza was the star for the Central Franchise with his 4-26 in 7.2 overs and he was well supported by doubles from Shadley van Schalkwyk (2-25) and Tshepo Ntuli (2-17) at Buffalo Park.
In fact, the depleted home side, without regular captain Jon-Jon Smuts and key seamer Sisanda Magala due to a national fitness camp, would have been in deeper strife had it not been for a gutsy performance by Yaseen Vallie.
The right-hander struck an attacking 91 off 113 balls (15 fours), which was one of two double-digit scores with the other being the 12 of Kelly Smuts after the Warriors won the toss and batted.
In the end they were blown away in 42.2 overs, with Van Tonder leading the reply for the Knights. He struck 80 (157 balls, 13 fours) and was backed up well by Keegan Petersen (45), the two sharing a stand of 109 for the second wicket to seize control of the game.
Lutho Sipamla did nab 2-37, although that did not stop the Knights from a powerful day.