George Linde inspired the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras on his return to 4-Day Domestic Series action with four wickets as they claimed first day honours in their clash against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
The slow left-armer, one of the stand-out players for the Proteas during their recent Twenty20 International assignment against England, claimed four for 52 in 19 overs to help bowl out the hosts for just 194.
Seamers Calvin Savage (2/23) and Akhona Mnyaka (2/34) were also amongst the wickets, with Rudi Second top-scoring for the home side by recording 55 (99 balls, 10 fours, 1 six).
Three early wickets then left the away side in trouble on 32 for three, but Pieter Malan (35) and Kyle Verreynne (21) helped them hit back to reach the close on 72 for three – 122 runs behind.
On a busy opening day at St George’s Park, the home side won the toss and batted, but they were asked plenty of questions by the bowlers on their way to being dismissed in 64 overs.
Mnyaka’s twin strike early saw the Warriors slump to 26 for three, before they were bailed out by Second and Jon-Jon Smuts (36), who put on 79 during their fourth wicket partnership.
After both fell to Savage, Sinethemba Qeshile (29) and Lesiba Ngoepe (31) added 57 for the sixth wicket to take the Eastern Cape franchise to a far more respectable 175 for five.
However, Linde ran through the tail during a collapse of five for 19 leaving the Cobras on top at the changeover.
Glenton Stuurman (2/9) then helped the Warriors storm back with two early wickets, added by another for Basheer Walters (1/9).
But the unbroken 40-run stand between Verreynne and Malan rebuilt for the Cobras and took them to the close in a much healthier position.