A maiden franchise century by new Proteas spinner George Linde helped the Cape Cobras deliver a powerful response on the third day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter with the Warriors in Cape Town on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old, who made his debut against India in Ranchi earlier this month, scored an impressive 122 (204 balls, 12 fours, 1 six) as the hosts replied to the visitors’ first-innings 350 with 379 at Newlands.
That gave them a 29-run lead, which by the close had been turned into a three-run lead. But that did come at a cost, though, thanks to a double strike by returning captain Dane Piedt (2-8) after he dismissed both openers to leave the Eastern Cape side on 32-2.
Both sides now face hard work to try and generate a result on the final day of the round four fixture on Thursday.
However, whatever happens home coach Ashwell Prince is likely to be satisfied, especially after his side batted so well to recover from 73-4 to eventually bat for more than 140 overs.
They started the third day on 154-4, with Jason Smith first to fall after failing to add to his overnight 41. Glenton Stuurman was the bowler and the dismissal of the all-rounder was one of five strikes among figures of 5-72 – his 12th career five-for and best at franchise level.
Matthew Kleinveldt at the other end, though, did manage to move from his day two score of 70 to 92 (215 balls, 16 fours), before he fell to Lutho Sipamla (2-57).
An outstanding 102-run, seventh-wicket stand then followed between Linde and rookie Thando Ntini, who went on to post his personal best score of 40.
That propelled the Cobras to a slight lead, and they drove home the advantage when Piedt, back again from national duty in India, got rid of Eddie Moore (21) and Matthew Breetzke (5) in the final half hour of play.