DURBAN – A century by Vaughn van Jaarsveld helped the Dolphins make a solid start to their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the log-leading Cape Cobras in their decisive final-round encounter in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
The hosts reached the close at the City Oval on 293/6, thanks to the opener’s 21st career century.
Van Jaarsveld made 120 (153 balls, 16×4, 1×6) and shared in a 111-run opening stand with Michael Erlank, who made exactly 50 (121 balls, 8×4) in his second game for the franchise.
Their partnership laid a solid foundation for basement side the Dolphins against a visiting side that need nothing less than victory in their pursuit of a first four-day crown since 2013/14.
They went into the game with just over a three-point lead over the Highveld Lions, but were on the back foot early on as the home openers got away after losing the toss and being asked to bat first.
After their stand was eventually broken by George Linde, who was outstanding with 4/62, wickets began to fall more regularly.
The Dolphins batsmen would have been kicking themselves, though, as everyone bar Sibonelo Makhanya (0), had starts.
Marques Ackerman (23) added 50 for the second wicket with Van Jaarsveld, with 55 following between the latter and captain Khaya Zondo (25) for wicket number three.
After the dismissal of the centurion left the score on 226/5, Grant Roelofsen (17) and Senuran Muthusamy (27 not out) added 38 together, with Keshav Maharaj (20 not out) keeping the latter company at the close.
— COBRAS CRICKET (@CobrasCricket) January 28, 2019
* A wet outfield prevented any play from being possible on the opening day of the 4-Day Domestic Series encounter between the Titans and the Knights at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Monday.
The match is the last of the first-class season for both sides, with neither having a chance of winning the title.
But the two teams, who between them have won the last two four-day seasons, are bidding to end the 2018/19 term well.
There was no toss either on the East Rand as umpires Abdoellah Steenkamp and Johan Cloete waited on the go-ahead from the ground staff, which never came.
Lunch and tea were taken early, before the officials eventually decided to abandon play for the day.
Cricket South Africa