A devastating five-for from Alfred Mothoa handed the Titans the advantage at the end of day one of the 4-Day Franchise Series season against the Dolphins in Centurion on Wednesday.
Having bowled exactly 4,500 balls in his previous 37 first-class matches, the 28-year-old Mothoa took his second career five-for as he claimed five for 55 to help the reigning champions bowl out the visitors for 269 shortly before stumps. The Titans then replied with nine runs for the loss of one wicket.
There were also two wickets apiece for Chris Morris (2-34) and Shaun von Berg (2-71) as the relatively inexperienced Dolphins batting lineup struggled. Only Sibonelo Makhanya troubled the home side with his own franchise-best score of 86 (156 balls, 10 fours, two sixes) as those around him struggled.
The Durbanites had won the toss and opted to bat, with debutants Grant Roelofsen and Jason Oakes (both 31) putting on a solid 62 for the opening wicket.
But after the dependable Vaughn van Jaarsveld was cleaned bowled second ball for a single by Mothoa, the visitors somewhat lost their way.
Mothoa followed up by dismissing Cody Chetty caught behind after a cautious 34 off 80 balls (with two fours and a six), before adding the wickets of Calvin Savage for 15 and Robbie Frylinck for a second-ball duck.
It left the Dolphins on 143-7 in the 55th over and facing an embarrassing first-innings total.
Makhanya and captain Keshav Maharaj added 90 for the eighth wicket before Mothoa had Maharaj caught behind after a vital 41 off 60 balls, which included six fours.
Mothoa finished with figures of 18-4-55-5 (econ 3.05) to take his first-class wickets tally to 94.
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