An 18th first-class century from Stiaan van Zyl preceded by a splendid bowling display by the BuildNat Cape Cobras left them in a commanding position after two days of their Sunfoil Series clash against the table-topping VKB Knights at Boland Park in Paarl on Friday.

Van Zyl hit 106 (192 balls, 17 fours) as the hosts reached the close on 259/7 having remarkably secured a first innings lead earlier in the day when they bundled out the visitors for a paltry 153.

Dane Paterson (3/39) and Kyle Simmonds (3/42) shared the plaudits with six wickets between them, but all the bowlers excelled, including Dane Piedt and Jason Smith, who took 2/41 and 2/17 respectively.

The Cobras had been shot out for 154 on the opening day, but they looked set to surrender a lead when the Knights resumed overnight on 137/6.

But the last four wickets fell for just 16 leaving the home side high on confidence heading in to bat.

Although they did experience some jitters when the in-form Duanne Olivier (3/44) rocked their top order, Van Zyl’s display ensured there was no repeat of their first-innings mistakes by helping establish a 260-lead by the end of day two.

After slipping to 22/2, the former Proteas’ batsman dropped anchor and was well backed up by Justin Ontong (43), with whom he shared a third-wicket 74-run stand, while a further 92 came for the fourth wicket alongside Smith (44).

Dane Vilas (38) was still there at the close as the Cobras ended in control.