Aiden Markram smashed a century on his captaincy debut for the Titans to strengthen his chances of selection for the Bangladesh Test series.
The 22-year-old opener has been in the pipeline for some time now after he captained SA U19 to glory in the 2014 World Cup. After two years’ absence in order to study, he picked up where he left off for both the Titans last season and South Africa A this year, where he was selected as captain for the four-day side.
Having ended runners-up in the Sunfoil Series last season, the Titans got their 2017-18 campaign up and running in fine fashion against the Dolphins. The star-studded Centurion side boasted a lineup fielding five Proteas – Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Farhaan Behardien and Morne Morkel.
Dean Elgar and Markram, tipped by many to be the opening Test pair for the Proteas, got off to a decent start before Elgar lost his scalp on 21. He was followed by Tony de Zorzi for a duck the next delivery as the Titans were held back at 52-2.
This did not deter Markram, however, who took control of the match alongside the Proteas captain Du Plessis.
The pair put on 220 for the third wicket, which saw Markram reach his sixth first-class century off 143 balls, taking the hosts to 245-2.
Robbie Frylinck (4-52), who caused the initial damage, was joined by Senuran Muthusamy (2-58), who broke the partnership, dismissing Du Plessis on 96 and Markram for a marvellous 119 off 177 balls, disrupting the hosts’ rhythm at 251-4.
Behardien (29) helped De Kock take the Titans to the 300-run mark before the former was removed by Frylinck for his third, but the 24-year-old held his ground to reach his half-century.
De Kock threatened to take the game away from the Dolphins, but Frylinck struck again to dismiss the Proteas superstar on 54.
With ex-Titans captain Henry Davids (23) still at the crease and the hosts on 373-6 by stumps on day one, a tough day two awaits the side from Durban.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images