A marvellous unbeaten century by Aiden Markram lifted the Titans from some otherwise mediocre batting on the first day of their 4-Day Domestic Series match against the Warriors in Centurion, taking the home side to 272 for six at stumps.
On a day that was shortened by a wet outfield in the morning and then bad light in the afternoon, Markram batted through to a classy 149 not out, a boundary-laden innings with 27 fours and a six off just 189 deliveries.
The Titans had been sent in to bat and struggled initially against the Warriors seamers, slipping to 66 for three before a focused Markram added 82 for the fourth wicket with Sibonelo Makhanya (26). Playing with good judgement, the Proteas hopeful was watchful but ruthless in putting the bad ball away, his driving being especially easy on the eye, and he and Rivaldo Moonsamy (35) then put on 92 for the sixth wicket for the Titans to claim the first-day honours.
Mthiwekhaya Nabe was the best of the Warriors bowlers, taking three for 77, including the prized wicket of Dean Elgar (20) caught behind off an awkward lifting delivery.
At the Wanderers, Sisanda Magala took five wickets on his Imperial Lions debut to have the Knights in terrible trouble before the visitors rallied to reach 291 for nine at stumps.
Sent in to bat, the Knights were a parlous 121 for five before Grant Mokoena showed great determination for his team as he dug in to score a 148-ball 50 to turn the tide along with Farhaan Behardien (35) and skipper Shaun von Berg (27).
Fast bowler Migael Pretorius then punished his former team to the tune of 73 not out off just 91 balls, stroking 11 boundaries, as he and Gerald Coetzee (27) added 54 in 12 overs against some wayward Lions bowling.
Magala showed he will fit in very well at the bouncy, pace-friendly Wanderers as he took five for 57 in 14.2 overs.
At Kingsmead, the obduracy of opener Senuran Muthusamy and the flashing blade of Dolphins captain Marques Ackerman dominated the day, before the Cape Cobras were unable to capture the key wicket of Khaya Zondo.
Muthusamy, promoted to open after wicketkeeper Grant Roelofsen scored just three runs in his four innings at the top of the order, defied the Cobras attack for nearly five-and-a-half hours, doing a fine job after the Dolphins were sent in to bat.
Muthusamy scored 79 off 245 deliveries, adding 99 for the third wicket with Ackerman, who cruised to 66 off 86 balls before once again falling to a loss of concentration when well set, top-edging a pull off medium-pacer Aviwe Mgijima to mid-off.
But Zondo dominated the late afternoon, stroking an entertaining 60 not out to take the Dolphins to 277 for five and he will obviously be the key man on Tuesday with the Dolphins having all-rounder Ruan de Swardt at the wicket with him and the stubborn Prenelan Subrayen to come.