A career-best 7 for 95 for Burton de Wett was not enough for Border to avoid a first-innings deficit of 157 in Durban. Resuming on 183 for 3, KwaZulu-Natal stumbled to 326 as de Wett mesmerised the Natal batsmen with only Kyle Smit scoring 46 and Rob Frylinck adding 37 making worthwhile contributions after the hundred from Mark Sanders. De Wett then followed up his bowling performance by scoring 63 as he and Laden Gamiet put on 76 to give Border a slight lead. At the close Gamiet had moved to 101 not out, his first hundred of the season, and Border 264 for 6, a 107-run lead going into the final day.
Rain in Cape Town brought an early end to the day's proceedings with Western Province in a very strong position to record an early win on Saturday morning. An undefeated hundred for Warren Wyngaard and a career-best 72 for Ryan Canning allowed Province to declare at 298 for 6, setting Boland a formidable target of 473. A disastrous start to the Boland innings had them struggling at 10 for 4 but 36 not out from Peter Laing saw them move to 55 for 4 when bad light and rain ended the second day's play.
A career-best 69 not out from Frikkie Holtzhausen and 110 from Juan le Roux allowed North West to take a 50-run lead into the second innings against Free State in Potchefstroom. Jacob Malao used all his experience to take 3 for 112 and help restrict North West to 290 for 8 declared. Jonathan Beukes, scoring 47, got the Free State second innings off on a good foot while Benjamin Hector (24*) and Petrus Koortzen (33*) took them to 137 for 2 at the close.
In Johannesburg a disciplined bowling display by Northerns, where no extras were given in 81 overs, allowed them to take a 162-run lead into the second innings over Gauteng. Douglas Gain mdae 64 and Dumisa Makalima made 61 to allow Gauteng to reach 235 all out with Aaron Phangiso taking a career-best 5 for 76 with his left-arm spin. The 93-run fourth wicket partnership between Gain and Makalima has kept Gauteng in the game that will end on Saturday.
Keith Lane works for Cricinfo in South Africa