An unbeaten century by Dane Vilas as well as supporting half-centuries by Senuran Muthusamy and Vaughn van Jaarsveld helped the Dolphins complete a credible Sunfoil Series draw against the Knights in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The veteran wicket-keeper struck a free-scoring 102 (105 balls, 14x4, 2x6) to help the visitors move from their overnight 187/1 in their follow-on innings to 426/4 when the match ended.
It was a credible fightback by the Dolphins, who were poor in their first innings when they were bowled out for 237.
This was in reply to the sizeable 478 by the home side as the Durbanites were forced to bat again.
And, with the odds stacked against them, Sarel Erwee’s day-three century gave them hope, before Vilas picked up the baton on the final day.
The former, not out on 108 at the start, eventually fell for 128 (270 balls, 14x4).
He was the second of the three wickets on the day to fall, all for one run and within the space of 2.3 overs.
Erwee’s removal was sandwiched by those of Van Jaarsveld (51 off 64 balls, 7x4, 1x6), with whom he added 80 with for the second wicket, and Sibonelo Makhanya for a duck.
It opened the door slightly for the reigning champion Knights, but Muthusamy shut it closed again with an unbeaten 73 (149 balls, 6x4, 1x6) to help Vilas save the day.
It was the all-rounder’s second half century of the game after his 95 in the first innings, while the latter went on to complete his 15th career ton on his way to saving the game.
The result propelled the Knights to 85.08 points in third, just over seven behind the leading Titans (92.10). The Dolphins (72.70) are fifth.
Cricket South Africa