Janneman Malan helped the Cobras get level against the Dolphins. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

Janneman Malan and Matthew Kleinveldt both struck centuries and shared in a double century stand as the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras hit back powerfully on the third day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.

The pair put on 221 for the second wicket as they visitors responded to the hosts’ 325 for nine declared by reaching stumps on 325 for three.

It meant they were dead even on scores and, although still in a strong position, the weather-affected round three match appeared to be headed towards a draw with just the final day to come at the City Oval on Thursday.

With well over 100 overs already lost on account of rain and bad light in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands this week, the Dolphins opted to end their first innings overnight on day two.

But they needed to force early wickets to try and take the game forward. However, the only wickets they got were at either end of play.

Captain Pieter Malan fell in the fifth over of the day to give them hope – Robbie Frylinck (1/57) trapping the recent 10,000 first-class man leg before wicket for five.

But it was then one-way traffic in favour of the visitors with Malan and Kleinveldt sharing a punishing stand that lasted a little over 60 overs.

Right-hander Malan went on to complete his 10th red-ball century, before left-hander Kleinveldt followed for his maiden ton in four-day cricket and 11th overall.

The partnership finally broke moments before a post-tea rain delay when the former fell to Smangaliso Nhlebela (1/56) for an excellent 118 off 199 balls (14 fours, 2 sixes).

The teams then returned after a half-hour delay with Jason Smith (14) bowled by Andile Phehlukwayo (1/29) not long after.

However, Kleinveldt kept going and by the close had progressed to 137 not out off 281 balls (19 fours).

The in-form Kyle Verreynne (31) was alongside him with the pair sharing an unbroken stand of 65.

Cricket South Africa