Back-to-back centuries from Aiden Markram has left the Cobras trailing by 128 runs with seven wickets in hand against the Titans at Newlands.
Paul Adams’ hapless Cape Cobras look set for a third defeat in four matches, as the Titans pulled away from the hosts’ first-innings 235, before Shaun von Berg picked up two late wickets to leave them reeling on 37-3.
Markram, who skippered South Africa to the U19 World Cup title in 2014, appears to have finally broken through at franchise level, backing up his 162 against the Dolphins last week with another fluent ton in Cape Town, his 139 coming off just 200 balls. That, along with brisk fifties from Qaasim Adams (51) and Farhaan Behardien (79), stretched the defending champions to 400 all out, with a lead 165.
The Cobras’ day would get worse, as they lost three wickets in the 14 overs they needed to bat in the final session. Nippy, skiddy Junior Dala bowled Omphile Ramela (3), before Von Berg, who took 5-88 in the first innings, saw off Zubayr Hamza (8) and nightwatchman Zakhele Qwabe (0) in brisk fashion. This match could be over by the time the sun goes down on Saturday evening.
An incredible all-round performance from Dwaine Pretorius at the Wanderers meanwhile, has left the match between the Lions and the Warriors well-placed going into day three. The all-rounder, who made his ODI bow in the whitewash series against Australia, scored 97, before taking 6-81 with the ball, restricting the Warriors’ first-innings lead to 48 runs.
Nicky van den Bergh (99) and Pretorius carried the Lions to 308 on day one, and then a fine effort from Lesiba Ngoepe (95) helped the Warriors to 356 all out, with seasoned campaigner Andrew Birch frustrating the hosts with 82 not out coming in at No 9. It could have been a lot worse for the Lions were it not for Pretorius’ sensational all-round efforts.
There was no play at Kingsmead as rain dominated day two between the Dolphins and the Knights. The Dolphins will go into day three on 285-9, this after an excellent 6-71 from ex-Proteas spinner Robin Peterson.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images