A blistering century by Gihahn Cloete lit up what was effectively the opening day of the crucial final-round Sunfoil Series encounter between the Dolphins and the Warriors in Durban on Saturday.
Only 63 overs were sent down on day three because of a wet outfield at the start.
But it was enough time for the visitors to reach 245 for five after they had lost the toss and were asked to bat first by the hosts.
Opener Cloete smashed 105 (92 balls, 17 fours, 1 six) with captain Jon-Jon Smuts unbeaten on 38 at the close.
Senuran Muthusamy was the pick of the bowlers after bagging three for 50.
The opening two days of the final round match were washed out by rain.
The result of the clash is crucial to the destiny of the title, with the Warriors heading into the game top of the table and needing to win the game to all but assure themselves of the 2017/18 four-day crown.
A draw or less will mean the champions will be determined by the results of the other two matches.
A century by Rassie van der Dussen put the bizhub Highveld Lions in a stronger position than the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras after the third day of their Sunfoil Series encounter at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The right-hander struck 122 (234 balls, 21 fours) to complete his 14th career century as the hosts posted 325 all out in reply to the visitors’ 217 the previous day – a lead of 108.
The Cobras then reached the close on 106 for one, still trailing by two runs, heading into the final day of what has essentially become a three-day encounter after day one was washed out by the rain.
The Lions resumed on 117 for two at the start with Omphile Ramela moving from his overnight 58 to 73 (141 balls, 13 fours) before he became one of five victims for Lizaad Williams, who ended with figures of five for 70, his seventh career five-for.
The Cape side then lost Pieter Malan (5) cheaply to land into some early trouble on 16 for one.
But an unbroken 90-run second wicket stand between Andrew Puttick (42) and Zubayr Hamza (46) helped their side recover and ensure they still stood a chance of fighting on into the final day.
The second-placed Cobras were one of five sides to enter the final round of the 2017/18 season still in with a chance of winning the title.
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