Shaun von Berg marked an impressive debut for the Knights by grabbing four wickets to help them seize the advantage after two days of their season-opening 4-Day Franchise Series encounter with the Warriors in Kimberley on Tuesday.
The leg-spinner claimed 4-78 and shared seven wickets with Mbulelo Budaza (3-28) to help the hosts secure a 103-run first-innings advantage, before that was extended to 134 after they closed on 31-1 at the Diamond Oval.
It was also a memorable day for Jon-Jon Smuts after he completed just a second career five-for, although his team – bar Sinethemba Qeshile (73 off 111 balls, 10 fours) – then underperformed with the bat and handed the halfway control to the Knights.
The Warriors had started day two nicely by claiming the final three wickets of the home side for just seven runs in 3.4 overs.
Glenton Stuurman struck twice to finish with 2-43, while Smuts’ dismissal of Gerald Coetzee for 11 had him complete his five-wicket haul and end with figures of 5-56 in a marathon 30 overs.
That left Alan Kruger’s side all out for 299 and it was then over to the away batsmen, who bitterly disappointed after slumping to 49-4 in the face of a double blow by first-class debutant Coetzee (2-38) as well as strikes by franchise debutant Jansen (1-16) and Von Berg.
Then came the rebuilding job between captain Smuts (24) and Proteas rookie Qeshile, who added an innings-high 50 for the fifth wicket.
But it was downhill from there, with the Warriors having to rely on tailenders like Andrew Birch (20) and Jade de Klerk (29 not out) to scrape them to 196 in 63.3 overs.
Fast bowler Birch did manage to claim a breakthrough by accounting for Raynard van Tonder (9) cheaply, but the Knights reached stumps in the driving seat.
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