Lesiba Ngoepe was the unlikely source of wickets as his three-for helped the Warriors end day two of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Multiply Titans with the slight edge in East London on Saturday.
The part-time spinner, who had previously managed just 10 wickets in 74 first-class games, claimed three for 27 as the visitors reached stumps on 279 for seven – still trailing by 129 runs at Buffalo Park.
Ngoepe had earlier ended unbeaten on 72 (88 balls, 4 fours, 4 sixes) as the hosts were bowled out for 408.
That proved to be a very good total, although the Warriors will still have some work to do on the third morning to dislodge veteran Henry Davids, who was still going on 55 (135 balls, 7 fours) at stumps.
The Titans also had top-scorer and captain Heirich Klaasen to thank for leading from the front with his 73 (122 balls, 8 fours, 3 sixes).
The reigning champions had started the day by claiming the final wicket of the home side inside the opening 11 deliveries – Eldred Hawken the wicket-taker to end with one for 100. The best of the Titans’ bowlers, though, was Corbin Bosch (3/48).
Mark Boucher’s men then landed in some early trouble after Glenton Stuurman (2/50) and Basheer Walters (1/70) removed openers Andrea Agathangelou (13) and Tony de Zorzi (7) respectively to leave the score on 29 for two.
It needed a few good partnerships to drag them out of trouble with Klaasen at the heart of the first two.
He helped Jonathan Vandiar (48) add 67 for the third wicket, before putting on the same number of runs with Farhaan Behardien (19) for the next stand.
After both fell to slow left-armer Ngoepe, Shaun von Berg (32) and Davids collected 56 together for wicket number six as the Titans hit back.
But Von Berg and then Hawken (18) also departed before the close making it advantage Warriors at halfway.
Above: File image of Lesiba Ngoepe of Warriors (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)