CAPE TOWN – A counter-attacking rear-guard half-century by Robbie Frylinck helped rescue the Dolphins from trouble on day one of their Sunfoil Series encounter against the Cape Cobras in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.
The big all-rounder was still batting on 63 (68 balls, 4 fours, 3 sixes) when bad light ended play just after tea and his side on 282/9 at the City Oval. Frylinck was one of two half-centurions for the hosts, with the other being Dane Vilas, who smashed 70 off 76 balls (12 fours).
But the Dolphins will be ruing not making the most of batting first after they won the toss.
They were in trouble from the outset when Morne van Wyk (0) fell in the second over and then lost wickets in clusters.
After reaching 55/1, Sarel Erwee (20), Khaya Zondo (4) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (44) fell in quick succession to leave them on 75/4. Senuran Muthusamy (34) then helped Vilas rebuild, but shortly after a 76-run fifth wicket stand, they slipped from 151/4 to 207/8.
It left Frylinck to pick up the pieces and he added 62 with Rabian Engelbrecht (20) for the ninth wicket, before the latter fell just after tea when bad light was about to set in and end the day almost 30 overs short.
Dane Paterson finished as the pick of the bowlers with 3/57, while Tshepo Moreki (2/70) and Dane Piedt (2/74) grabbed two wickets each.
The Knights seamers all struck at regular intervals to reduce the visitors to 159/8 when bad light brought an early end to play too. Proteas seamer Duanne Olivier (2/47) struck the first and final blows of the day when he trapped Stephen Cook lbw for one before returning to claim Nandre Burger.
In between Marchant de Lange took 2/48, Mbulelo Budaza 2/32 and Shadley van Schalkwyk 2/26.
The only Lions batsmen to offer any resistance was Rassie van der Dussen (42 off 65 balls, 9x4) while Proteas all-rounder Dwayne Pretorius was unbeaten on 42 at stumps.
In East London, the table-topping Titans endured a tough day at the office as the Warriors took advantage of home conditions.
The Eastern Cape side certainly side enjoy playing at Buffalo Park, having won their last encounter there at the beginning of February, and pushed on to 203/4.
The total was built upon solid half-centuries from Gihahn Cloete (83 off 114 balls, 14x4, 1x6) and Yaseen Vallie (68 not out, 160 balls, 7x4) with the pair putting on 126 runs for the third wicket. ‘
However, the loss of two wickets for just four runs reduced the Warriors to 151/4 before Vallie and captain Jon-Jon Smuts (36 not out, 65 balls, 4x4, 1x6) stablised the innings once more before stumps were drawn.
New Proteas T20 seamer Junior Dala finished with figures of 2/44, while Chris Morris put in 12 solid overs for just 26 runs after being sent back to domestic cricket by national coach Ottis Gibson.