A fixture record haul of seven for 29 by Proteas seamer Beuran Hendricks helped defending champions the Imperial Lions boss the opening day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras in Johannesburg on Monday.
The 30-year-old was in supreme form with his 13-over return also yielding a career-best analysis as the visitors were shot out for just 115 early in the round two fixture at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium.
An unbeaten 60 (141 balls, 8 fours) by Dominic Hendricks then led a strong reply from the reigning champions as they went to stumps on a commanding 152 for three – a lead of 37.
That rounded off what would have been a pleasing day for Wandile Gwavu and his charges, especially after they slumped to a heavy defeat in the opening round last week.
The Lions coach would have been seeking a reaction from his players and he got that from the get-go when his bowlers, headed by left-armer Beuran, sparkled.
The Cobras, also defeated in their opening game, won the toss and batted, but that was about the only thing that went their way on day one.
They lost wickets regularly through their innings as Beuran, with support from Dwaine Pretorius (2/33) and Malusi Siboto (1/25), proved a real nuisance.
The only batsman that really troubled them was in-form Proteas rookie Kyle Verreynne, who recorded 51 (66 balls, 9 fours).
He was eventually the second last man to fall and when Beuran wrapped up the innings up in the 38th over, he had completed his best career haul, beating the six for 26 he took for Western Province against KwaZulu-Natal Inland way back in 2012/13.
It was also his 19th career five-for and his figures beat the previous best one in the fixture of seven for 61 taken by Friedel de Wet in 2005/06.
Ryan Rickelton (35) and Dominic then offered the Lions a solid start to the reply by putting on 55 for the opening wicket, before 22s from Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma, who was also not out at the end, left the hosts well-placed by the close.
Onke Nyaku (1/22), Tshepo Moreki (1/29) and Nandre Burger (1/55) all picked up a wicket apiece.