Fifteen wickets fell on the opening day of the Sunfoil Series clash between the Knights and Warriors as the two sides went to stumps with honours even in Kimberley on Thursday.
The title-chasing hosts saw their championship prospects take a blow when they were dismissed for a woeful 128 after losing the toss and being asked to bat first at the Diamond Oval.
But they then roared back to reduce the visitors to 93/5 by stumps.
The Eastern Cape side, who have lost seven out of their eight matches this season, would have been smiling after their effort with the ball in the first innings.
Only three of the home batsmen managed to reach double figures – top-scorer Rudi Second (41 not out), captain Werner Coetsee (33) and Reeza Hendricks (18).
Medium-pacer Jerry Nqolo and spinner Simon Harmer shared seven wickets with the former claiming 4/11 in just eight overs and the latter squeezing 3/25 in 13 overs – the Knights dismissed in 51 overs.
But there was a twist to come as the hosts roared back thanks to two wickets apiece for Malusi Siboto (2/2) and Duanne Olivier (2/27).
This after the Warriors had made a strong start by reaching 47/1 in the 15th over.
But they lost 4/46, including the wicket of rookie opener Edward Moore (35) to go to stumps on the back foot.