An unbeaten century by Keegan Petersen helped the VKB Knights recover from a horror start to reach stumps on 241 for eight after the opening day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Bloemfontein on Friday.

After winning the toss and batting at the Mangaung Oval, the hosts slumped to three for three inside the first 17 deliveries, but were rescued by their top-scorer after his fine 126 not out (237 balls, 18 fours).

He shared in key stands of 88 with Rudi Second (53 off 92 balls, 7 fours) for the fourth wicket and 79 with Shadley van Schalkwyk (22) for the seventh wicket as the Central Franchise were spared against the runaway log leaders.

Play eventually ended early – after 80 overs to be precise – when bad light made conditions unplayable.

But the Knights will be pleased to have still been batting at the end of the day considering how their top order was blown away by star Cobras seamers Dane Paterson and Lizaad Williams, who picked up three for 41 and three for 63 respectively.

Paceman Paterson was the main threat early on by getting rid of Raynard van Tonder (0) and Pite van Biljon (1), either side of Williams knocking over Grant Mokoena (0).

Petersen then took up the responsibility of rescuing his side, initially through the help of Second, as the pair took the score to 91 for three, before the latter fell.

Andries Gous (12) and Ryan McLaren (2) were taken out by Williams as the Knights again found themselves in a hole on 134 for six.

Van Schalkwyk and Petersen got things going for their side once more, with the latter going past his 13th career ton whilst they were together.

And despite the loss of the former and Thandolwethu Mnyaka (15), Petersen remained firm until the close.