A maiden 4-Day Domestic Series century by Marques Ackerman helped the Dolphins dominate the opening day of their round eight clash against the Knights in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
The 22-year-old, playing only the second franchise match of his career, struck an impressive 137 (185 balls, 21x4, 1x6) as the hosts went to stumps on 330/6.
There was also a strong unbeaten 81 (123 balls, 8x4, 2x6) from Senuran Muthusamy at the City Oval, ensuring the bottom-of-the-table home side made a rare positive start to a game this season.
But it was by no means one-way traffic after they had fallen into some early strife after winning the toss and batting.
Sarel Erwee (15) and debutant Thamsanqa Khumalo (6) were dismissed with only 26 on the board, leaving a big building job for those that followed.
Fortunately for the KwaZulu-Natal side, Ackerman dropped anchor with his fifth career century, and added 114 with captain Khaya Zondo (34) for the third wicket to get their side back on track.
After the departure of Zondo and last week’s centurion Sibonelo Mkhanya (7), Ackerman was involved in another solid stand that saw him add 66 for the fifth wicket with Muthusamy that put the Dolphins on 229/4.
That was when the Knights struck as the top-scorer was finally dismissed, but Grant Roelofsen (32) made sure the momentum continued with a 91-run sixth-wicket stand.
Zakhele Qwabe, the pick of the bowlers with 2/46, did strike on the brink of stumps, although it came too late to make much of a difference.
The medium-pacer was one of three bowlers to bag two wickets each, along with Tshepo Ntuli (2/111) and Thandolwethu Mnyaka (2/58).
Stumps: @Hollywoodbets Dolphins 330-6, (96 overs) @sen_muthusamy 81*@eathbosch 7*— Dolphins Cricket (@DolphinsCricket) January 14, 2019
The day definitely belongs to M Ackerman with his maiden century ! What a performance by our @Hollywoodbets Dolphins today ! #DOLvKNI #DolphinsCricket #4DaySeries pic.twitter.com/uLIlme5NYX
Cricket South Africa