A 28th first-class century by Pieter Malan paved the way for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras to take control of their Domestic 4-Day Series clash with the VKB Knights at the halfway stage in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old, who also went past 9 000 runs in red-ball cricket, was unbeaten on 118 (282 balls, 16 fours) at stumps with his side on 302 for six – a lead of 23.

Malan had begun the day unbeaten on six and with his brother and debutant, Janneman, batting at the other end on the same score. The pair put on 59 for the first wicket, before the new Cobras man fell for 38.

Zubayr Hamza was next to go for 20, followed by another player winning his maiden cap, David Bedingham, for 26 to pick of the bowlers Ryan McLaren, who finished the day with three for 47.

Aviwe Mgijama (40) then helped Malan put on 59 for the fourth wicket to hand control firmly to the home side. The fall of his wicket left the Cobras on 185 for four and brought rising young wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne to the middle. He made just 27, but added another priceless 72 to the score beside Malan – a man who scored an impressive 892 runs in the last campaign.

McLaren then struck two more double blows by accounting for Verreynne and Dane Piedt (4), although Rory Kleinveldt (20 not out) dug in at the close with the home side in charge.