A second century in three innings by Rudi Second left the 4-Day Domestic Series between the Warriors and the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras on the knife-edge after three days of action were completed in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
The right-handed wicketkeeper, who hit 171 in the previous game, struck 114 (154 balls, 18 fours) at St George’s Park to help the hosts reach 325 in their second innings and set a target of 265 for victory.
Chasing those runs, the visitors lost the important trio of Pieter Malan (9), Zubayr Hamza (19) and Tony de Zorzi (0) to reach stumps on 82 for three – still needing 183 for victory.
In what is turning out to be a tight affair, the Eastern Cape side resumed the third morning on 91 for two with Second and his captain Yaseen Vallie digging in.
The pair extended their partnership for the third wicket to a record 167, before the skipper finally fell to Aviwe Mgijima (1/29) for 57 (152 balls, 4 fours). His partnership with Second beat the Warriors’ previous record in the fixture of 165 between Carl Bradfield and Arno Jacobs recorded at the same venue back in 2005/06.
One delivery later and Second too followed, trapped leg before wicket by pick of the bowlers Calvin Savage (4/81) after collecting his 18th career ton.
That double blow left the Warriors on the back foot and their remaining six wickets could only manage 90 thanks to Sinethemba Qeshile (30 not out), Lesiba Ngoepe (30) and Glenton Stuurman’s 22.
The recently called up Proteas seamer then claimed the early wicket of Pieter Malan, before Mthiwekhaya Nabe (2/18) accounted for Hamza and De Zorzi within one run of each other leaving the Cobras in trouble at 52 for three.
Janneman Malan (44) was then left to carry the hopes of his side, alongside the inform Kyle Verreynne, not out on six, as both teams chased victory.