Durban - Half-centuries from Justin Ontong and Omphile Ramela ensured the Cape Cobras ended day three of their Sunfoil Series clash against the Dolphins with some hope at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Following on from their first-innings 216, the visitors reached stumps on 154 for two, still trailing by 35.
But it represented a spirited comeback, which was led by the unbroken 113-run third-wicket stand. Captain Ramela was on 60 from 164 deliveries, while Ontong had 55 from 144 balls after their side had earlier slipped into trouble on 41 for two.
The two batsmen to fall were Matthew Kleinveldt (27) and Simon Khomari (7).
Keshav Maharaj (1-67), who took one of the two wickets to fall, was the star of the day for the home side.
The left-arm spinner bagged five for 62 in the first inning, leaving the Capetonians with a 189-run deficit.
Apart from Maharaj's 11th career five-for, Craig Alexander also took three for 49, while Ramela top-scored with 89.
The Cobras had been five down for 157 overnight and only managed to add 59 for their final five wickets.