Pite van Biljon( C) of VKB Knights during day 2 of the 2019/20 4-Day Franchise Series game against the Dolphins at Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Pite van Biljon recorded the first double century of the 2019/20 season to help the VKB Knights dominate the third day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

The home captain struck a career-best 218 (347 balls, 23 fours, 3 sixes) and shared in a record 291-run fourth-wicket partnership with Raynard van Tonder, who also posted his best franchise score of 165 (300 balls, 15 fours), as the hosts declared on 519 for eight at the Mangaung Oval.

That gave them a lead of 149 and by stumps they had turned up the heat even further on the visitors by reducing them to 13 for one after Corne Dry (1/1) dismissed Vaughn van Jaarsveld for seven.

But day two was all about the Van Biljon-Van Tonder stand, with the pair dominating proceedings in the Free State.

They came together on the second evening when the latter returned to bat after retiring hurt early in his innings, and never looked back.

Van Biljon went on to reach his highest score, beating the 215 he scored playing for the local union in provincial cricket back in 2013/14. He batted for a little under nine hours in total and went on to complete his 18th career ton.

Van Tonder meanwhile, playing in his first full season as a professional cricketer, also continued to impress with his third century at first-class level.

Together they broke the previous best fourth wicket stand of 258 for the Central Franchise, set by Theunis de Bruyn and Rudi Second against the Dolphins at Kimberley in 2016/17.

Prenelan Subrayen finished as the pick of the bowlers with five for 124 in 35.3 overs.

Dry then drove home the advantage with his late strike, leaving the Dolphins with a tricky final day ahead, still 136 runs in arrears.

Sport Reporter