Captain Morne van Wyk made his entrance at a tricky time for the Dolphins and steered them to a handy first-innings lead on the second day of their Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.
Van Wyk came to the crease midway through the second session with the Dolphins on 149 for four replying to the Titans’ first innings of 267. The veteran wicketkeeper/batsman batted through to the close of a day shortened by a thunderstorm, reaching 76 not out and taking the visitors to 314 for six, a lead of 47.
Van Wyk and his younger brother Divan were the two Dolphins batsmen who really played like adults, getting in and making it count, and their partnership of 70 for the fifth wicket was key.
Opener Divan van Wyk, blossoming this season after only sporadic previous Sunfoil Series appearances, batted for just over five hours in scoring 87, while Morne has been at the crease for three-and-a-quarter hours.
Having leaked 51 runs in nine overs at the end of the first day, the Titans bowlers came roaring back on the second morning through Ethy Mbhalati.
Imraan Khan had looked in superb touch as he raced to 32 not out overnight, but to the visitors’ frustration he then chased a delivery outside off stump from Mbhalati and was caught behind in the second over of the day for 36.
Mbhalati then bowled Khaya Zondo for one and a fired-up Marchant de Lange cleaned up Cody Chetty for 16.
The lanky Mbhalati added a third wicket after lunch when he had Daryn Smit caught behind for 16, while left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe bowled both Divan van Wyk and Andile Phehlukwayo (10). But the Titans could not dissimulate their frustrations at the end of the day as Morne van Wyk and Calvin Savage (36*) then added an unbeaten 81 for the seventh wicket against the second new ball.
*An excellent batting display by the bizhub Highveld Lions has put them in control of their match against the Chevrolet Knights in Bloemfontein, with the visitors scoring 320 for four to already lead by 72 runs.
Neil McKenzie was on 72 not out, playing a wonderful innings and having stroked 12 gorgeous fours, while Dominic Hendricks belied his tender years with 71, Rassie van der Dussen raced to 70 and Temba Bavuma just added to the Knights’ frustration with 57.
*At Newlands, Richard Levi and Justin Ontong roared to half-centuries as the Nashua Cape Cobras took control of their match against the Chevrolet Warriors, reaching 316 for three at stumps, in reply to the visitors’ 288 all out.
While Levi belted 79 with 14 fours and Ontong had raced to 75 not out off 98 balls at stumps, Omphile Ramela was the baking powder that allowed the Cobras to produce such a good cake, batting for four-and-a-half hours and reaching 81 not out at stumps.
The Warriors had started the second day on 274 for eight, but Rory Kleinveldt reduced them to 288 all out by blowing away the last two wickets and finishing with four for 59, the same figures as Dane Paterson.