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Cape Cobras made a promising start against the Knights on Thursday as they sought a victory that would secure the South African Cricket Series title.
The visitors from Cape Town bowled out hosts Knights for 191 at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein and were 104-1 at stumps with unbeaten Richard Levi (61) and Stiaan van Zyl (29) developing a solid partnership.
Number three Rilee Rossouw (59) and opener Gihahn Cloete (41) were the only Knights batsmen to escape the clutches of a Cobras attack spearheaded by Beuran Hendricks (4-30), Justin Kemp (2-29) and Robin Peterson (2-33).
Highveld Lions and Warriors, whose only hope of snatching the title rests on winning the battle between them in Port Elizabeth and the Cobras losing, found runs hard to come by at St George's Park.
Lions, who surrendered top spot to the Cobras last weekend after drawing against the Knights, were all out for 157 with veteran Neil McKenzie (46) and Temba Bavuma (26) the only significant run-getters.
Andrew Birch (4-30), Ayabulela Gqamane (3-26) and Simon Harmer (2-41) did the damage with the ball for Warriors only to be let down by their top-order batsmen and the home side closed on 64-3 with Zac de Bruyn (2-9) delivering early blows.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld (101) top scored as Dolphins made 326-6 against struggling defending champions Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion, whose hopes of a first win of the season were not helped by ineffective bowling.