The Van Wyk name was shining brightly at SuperSport Park on Friday as brothers Morne and Divan dominated the second day of the Dolphins’ Sunfoil Series match against the Unlimited Titans in Centurion.
Morne van Wyk, one of the most prolific batsmen on the domestic circuit, scored 76 not out as he lifted the Dolphins to a commanding 314 for six, already 47 runs ahead of the Titans with four first-innings wickets remaining.
Divan is a lesser-known name in South African cricket, but the younger Van Wyk has been in fine form this season and the opener’s 87 was his fifth half-century of the four-day campaign, taking his tally to 572 runs at an average of 44.
Their heroics come just 10 days after they became only the second pair of brothers to score centuries in the same innings in South African first-class cricket, the famous Kirsten brothers, Gary and Peter, being the first to do it, for Western Province against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth in 1989/90.
The rest of the Dolphins batsmen did not make full use of their starts, with Imraan Khan adding just four runs to his overnight score of 32 before being caught behind in the second over of the day, bowled by Ethy Mbhalati.
The veteran seamer then bowled Khaya Zondo for one before Cody Chetty and Daryn Smit were both dismissed for 16. Andile Phehlukwayo was then bowled by Roelof van der Merwe for 10, the left-arm spinner having earlier dismissed Divan van Wyk in the same fashion, and it was left to Calvin Savage (36*), hidden down the order, to partner the Dolphins captain, Morne van Wyk, in an unbroken stand of 81 that saw the visitors take the honours for the second day running.
Morne van Wyk made his entrance at a tricky time, coming 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, stroking 10 fours and a six as he batted for three-and-a-quarter hours, facing 122 deliveries.
*In Bloemfontein, Rassie van der Dussen, Dominic Hendricks, Neil McKenzie and Temba Bavuma all scored half-centuries to take the bizhub Highveld Lions to 320 for four, already a lead of 72 runs over the Chevrolet Knights.
Van der Dussen (70) and Hendricks (71) added 103 for the second wicket to set up the Lions’ innings after Duanne Olivier had had Stephen Cook (19) caught in the slips to inflict a rare failure on the skipper.
Van der Dussen fell to Malusi Siboto and when Hendricks edged off-spinner Werner Coetsee to wicketkeeper Rudi Second, the Lions were 189 for three.
But McKenzie and Bavuma (57) would win the battle against the second new ball as they then added 109 for the fourth wicket, before Bavuma edged a delivery from Olivier to Second.
McKenzie had gone to a top-class 72 not out by stumps and with Thami Tsolekile with him on 14 not out, the Lions are in a strong position to record a victory that would give them a massive lead at the top of the Sunfoil Series standings.
*A commanding batting performance by the Nashua Cape Cobras saw them take a stranglehold on their Sunfoil Series match against the Chevrolet Warriors at Newlands.
Rory Kleinveldt took the last two wickets of the Warriors’ first innings quickly on the second morning to bowl them out for 288, preventing Dane Paterson from completing a five-wicket haul, but they both finished with four for 59.
The Cobras then replied to the Warriors’ first innings with 316 for three at stumps.
Richard Levi used his bear-like forearms to club 79 with 14 fours as the Cobras raced away at the start to 131 for one.
The key partnership came, however, from Omphile Ramela (81*) and captain Justin Ontong (75*), who put on an unbeaten 141 for the fourth wicket.
Ontong’s innings was a particularly swift affair, his runs coming off just 98 balls, with nine fours.
There was little for the Warriors to get excited about, although off-spinner Simon Harmer bowled 30 overs for just 74 runs to go with the 94 he scored to rescue the Warriors innings.
Ramela, sent in at number three, has plodded through four-and-a-half hours of batting to post his fourth Sunfoil Series half-century.