Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj completed a six-wicket haul on day three in Pietermaritzburg to hand the Dolphins a 72-run first-innings lead over the Lions.
The slow nature of the match means the Dolphins have a lot of work to do on day four to give themselves a chance of victory against the Lions, but thanks to Maharaj, who took four of his side’s first five wickets, they’ve given themselves a chance. A brisk innings will be required before giving themselves enough time to take 10 wickets.
The log leaders, who haven’t actually won since emerging victorious in their first two matches of the season, went into day three in a solid position, with the Lions looking shaky on 108-4 after Khaya Zondo’s 141 not out saw the Dolphins post 339.
A useful 91-run stand between Dominic Hendricks (78) and Dwaine Pretorius (47) took the visitors out of danger, before more resistance came in the form of Kagiso Rapulana (52) and Nono Pongolo (44), but Maharaj would seal his 14th five-wicket haul with the wicket of Pongolo, and then wrapped up proceedings with Rapulana’s scalp.
It was a brilliant shift from Maharaj, who bowled 48.3 overs – 27 more than anyone else. His economy rate was 1.77, which bogged the Lions down throughout. An interesting final day awaits as they go in search of their third win of the season.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/Backpage Pix