Andrew Birch and Basheeru-Deen Walters produced Sunfoil Series performances that were able to shine through the clouds and give the Warriors a productive first day against the Knights at a rainy Buffalo Park. The entire first session of the match was lost to the weather, but Walters and Birch picked up seven wickets between them to reduce the Chevrolet Knights to 183/7 in the 66 overs that were possible. Their contributions ensured that the Knights were never able to build a partnership that could change the momentum on the opening day, even as Rudi Second provided some stability with his unbeaten 61.
In spite of the late start, the Knights elected to bat first after winning the toss, only to lose four wickets in the session before tea. Walters bowled Gihahn Cloete in the fourth over and had Letlotlo Sesele caught in the eighth, before Reeza Hendricks was caught behind off Birch in the ninth to leave the visitors reeling on 21/3. The returning Pite von Biljon led a mini-recovery with Second as he scored 28, only to be bowled by Sisanda Magala, before Michael Erlank and Second took the Knights to tea on 91 for four.
The pair were just beginning to look comfortable with the situation after the break when Simon Harmer found a chink in Erlank’s armour to dismiss the rookie batsman for 24. Another mini-recovery saw Werner Coetsee join the immovable Second at the crease, but once again the pair were separated just as the Knights were finding a way back into the innings. This time Walters (3/46) struck to remove Coetsee for 36 and end the 63-run stand for the sixth wicket, and that incision was followed by Birch (2/30) bowling debutant allrounder Bokang Mosena three overs later.
Just five more deliveries were possible in the day, which Second saw off successfully. He will start again on the second morning, and will have Dillon Du Preez for company.