Hashim Amla, Justin Ontong and Aviwe Mgijima all scored centuries as the Cape Cobras salvaged an unlikely draw against the Knights, and Khaya Zondo and Andile Phehlukwayo shared a three-hour partnership as the Dolphins also escaped against the Titans as the opening round of Sunfoil Series matches ended on Friday.
And with Omphile Ramela (67) and Rassie van der Dussen (52*) both scoring dogged half-centuries, the Highveld Lions, set 355 to win, also managed to bat out the draw with 190/3 against the Warriors in Johannesburg, as all three matches ended in stalemates.
The Cobras, who trailed by 464 runs on first innings, resumed on the final morning on 304/3 and quickly lost Ontong for 128, caught-and-bowled by Shadley van Schalkwyk, the most successful bowler with eight wickets.
But Amla (189) and Mgijima (112) put on another 165 runs for the fifth wicket and erased the deficit. Even though Amla’s eight-hour epic was ended by wrist-spinner Eddie Leie, wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne and captain Dane Piedt also occupied the crease well and the Cobras came away with their pride restored as they piled up 567 for six.
Dolphins captain Zondo, who enjoyed a prolific 2016/17 campaign, stamped his mark on proceedings as he scored an unbeaten 102 and spent more than four-anda-half hours at the crease to save his team, who had slipped to 162 for six midway through the second session. They were chasing an unlikely 430 for victory and began the day on 27/3.
Phehlukwayo also made his mark with the bat, scoring a career-best 62 in 173 minutes as the Dolphins reached 311/7, denying a Titans attack that toiled manfully, with Morne Morkel leading the way with three for 44 in 20 overs.