But the Cobras bounced back with vengeance to claim six wickets after lunch.
The Warriors lost their last six wickets for only 23 runs and handed the Cobras a narrow 14-run lead.
Off-spinner Dane Piedt claimed three wickets for 56 runs and there were also two run-outs.
Smuts and promising rookie Qeshile were going along well and their partnership had reached 86 runs for the fifth wicket when Qeshile was unluckily run out at the non-striker’s end off a straight drive from Smuts. He looked good for his 41.
Simon Harmer was then yorked by Dane Paterson for naught and when Smuts lost his wicket to Piedt for a well played 63, all other resistance crumbled.
Seamer Mthiwekhaya Nabe also took three wickets, his scalps coming at a cost of 43 runs, while Paterson was rewarded with two.
In Johannesburg, the bizhub Highveld Lions have their backs against the wall against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at Bidvest Wanderers.
The Lions were bundled out for a mere 134 to hand the Dolphins a massive lead of 169 runs on the first innings.
By the end of play on Thursday, the Dolphins had struggled to 119 for five, but it gave them an overall advantage of 288 runs.
At the crease for the Dolphins are Grant Roelofsen with seven and Andile Phehlukwayo on five.
Up the order, Sarel Erwee (31) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (33) got the ball rolling for the visitors in the second innings.
In Bloemfontein, the Multiply Titans were firmly in control of the their match against VKB Knights at the Mangaung Oval.
After losing the early wickets of Aiden Markram for just six and Dean Elgar for 25, Jonathan Vandiar (38) and Faf du Plessis (13) took the close-ofplay total to 89 for two.
That left the Titans 161 runs ahead with eight wickets remaining. –