Left-arm paceman Beuran Hendricks landed the killer blows in a record performance as the Imperial Lions skittled an ailing Cape Cobras batting line-up for just 115 on the opening day of their CSA 4-Day Domestic Series match at the Wanderers on Monday.
Hendricks returned exceptional figures of seven for 29 in 13 overs, his career-best analysis and the best ever for the Lions against the Cobras, beating the seven for 61 fellow Proteas quick Friedel de Wet took in 2005/6.
The Cobras had bravely decided to bat first under overcast skies and Hendricks made them suffer as he swung and seamed the ball around in helpful conditions. Kyle Verreynne was the only batsman to do well, scoring 51.
The Lions then reached 152 for three at stumps and already have a first-innings lead of 37. Opener Dominic Hendricks, compact and leaving the ball well, dug in for the home side and had scored a tenacious, important 60 not out off 141 balls at the close, and captain Temba Bavuma was with him on 22.
In Bloemfontein, an outstanding unbeaten century by young Raynard van Tonder saw the Knights post 323 for seven in their match against the Dolphins.
The Knights, having won the toss, produced another solid batting display but Van Tonder was the only one to cash in as he scored a classy 119 not out.
An unflagging Dolphins attack kept plugging away though and Matthew Kleinveldt (44), Jacques Snyman (35), Pite van Biljon (39) and Farhaan Behardien (39) all made starts without going on past fifty.
The Warriors team owes Gihahn Cloete their gratitude as he ushered them to 137 for four on a rain-shortened opening day of their match against the Titans in Port Elizabeth.
Cloete showed good composure and determination as he scored 57 not out, helping the Warriors recover from 35 for two and then 84 for four. Sinethemba Qeshile is with him at the crease on 20 not out.
Lizaad Williams once again led the attack for the Titans, with two for 50 in 15 overs.