Half-centuries from Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie and Zander de Bruyn enabled the Highveld Lions reach 332 for seven at stumps on day one of their Sunfoil Series match against the Knights at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
The Lions were put in to the bat first by after Knights' skipper Ryan McLaren, had won the toss.
The decision appeared to be vindicated as the visitors had Cook (8) caught behind in the seventh over off the bowling of Johan van der Wath with the score on 26.
However, the Lions took control courtesy of an extraordinary knock from wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, who smashed 18 boundaries and reached 84 off just 86 balls by the time the players stopped for lunch with the Lions on 119 for two.
However, the Knights emerged after lunch with more discipline, and De Kock struggled to get going and Malusi Siboto rearranged the 20-year-old's stumps for a well-played 85, but it left the game delicately poised with the Lions at 135 for three.
The experienced Neil McKenzie was then joined by Zander de Bruyn, and the pair were tasked with consolidating the good foundation laid by De Kock.
The Knights bowlers were able to contain De Bruyn, but McKenzie was able to alleviate the pressure, striking boundaries at regular intervals, which enabled the Lions to go into to tea on 196 for three.
Soon after the break McKenzie perished off the bowling of McLaren. It brought Thami Tsolekile to the crease, and the wicketkeeper smashed two fours and the first six of the innings off the very next over from Werner Coetsee.
De Bruyn brought up his fifty in the 76th over, and the hosts reached 286 for four by the time the new ball was due, which did the trick with De Bruyn caught behind for a well-compiled 63.
Tsolekile, and Garnett Kruger, on 44 and three respectively safely saw out the remaining overs of the day.
At Buffalo Park 16 wickets tumbled on the first day of the match between the Warriors and the Cape Cobras, the home side bowled out being bowled out for 107. However, the Cobras stumbled to 165 for six in their reply at stumps.
The start of the match, was delayed due the a problem with the sightscreen.
Once resolved the Cape Cobras won the toss and chose to field.
The Warriors wasted no time to get going with openers Davy Jacobs and Michael Price putting on a brisk 45-run partnership. Johann Louw then got the breakthrough for the visitors shortly before lunch, when he trapped Price leg-before, to send the opener packing for 26.
JJ Smuts joined Jacobs in the middle and the two survived to take the Warriors to 51 for one at lunch.
Shortly after the resumption Smuts was castled by Charl Langveldt, and Jacobs followed not too long after, edging through to Dane Vilas off the bowling of Lizaad Williams.
It was the Beuran Hendricks show after that as the left-armer picked up five wickets in total as the home side slumped to 107 all out, not a single batsman managing to pass 26. Hendricks, with his 7.4-2-34-5, claimed the best first-class figures of his career.
The Cobras got off to an equally shaky start in their reply with Alistair Gray falling early as he got a thick edge through to
the slips off Basheeru-Deen Walters.
Fellow opener Andrew Puttick fell shortly afterwards, caught leg-before by Andrew Birch and Ayabulela Gqamane then got rid of both Stiaan van Zyl and Yaseen Vallie as the Cobras stumbled to 99-4.
Justin Ontong and Qaasim Adams compiled 58 runs for the fifth-wicket before Adams became Walters' second wicket of the day. Dane Vilas managed just 16 before he got out needlessly driving and edging to the slips as Walters claimed his third scalp.
Ontong survived until stumps and was unbeaten on 40 with Louw yet to get off the mark to ensure the Cobras ended the
day 58 runs ahead.
In the final match of the day the Dolphins enjoyed one of their best days of the season as they racked up 323 for three on the first day of their encounter against the Dolphins at Kingsmead.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld's smashed 140 not out for the home side, while opener Divan van Wyk fell eight runs short of his ton.
The Titans had won the toss and elected to bowl first, a decision that wa vindicated when Imraan Khan was castled by
Ethy Mbhalathi in the fifth over.
From 12 for one, the Dolphins rebuilt their innings with Jonathan Vandiar (50) and Van Wyk adding 90 for the second-wicket.
Vandiar reached his half-century off 79 balls, but then fell just six balls later, caught by skipper Henry Davids off David Wiese for exactly 50.
After lunch Van Jaarsveld went to his half-century off just 47 balls.
Van Wyk, steadily becoming a stalwart for the KZN franchise, reached his 50 with just his third boundary of the day. He was denied his 100 run out for 92, after he and Van Jaarsveld had put on 156 runs, which was put together in just under 40 overs.
Khaya Zondo played himself in and was sitting on 26 not out when stumps were drawn.