A maiden franchise century by Grant Roelofsen was the catalyst for the Dolphins to take charge after the opening day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter with the Cape Cobras in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.
Although bad light only allowed for 63 overs to be sent down, the hosts managed to reach stumps on an assured 234-4 after winning the toss and batting at the City Oval.
Opener Roelofsen was the anchor thanks to his unbeaten 113 off 173 balls (17 fours) – his sixth career century – with the main support coming through Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, who at 61 not out (77 balls, 10 fours, 1 six) was just three runs shy of his career-best, first-class score.
In what is an important round-three meeting for both winless teams, the hosts enjoyed one of their better days of 2019-20 so far, even though they did not make the best of starts.
The out-of-form Vaughn van Jaarsveld fell for a second-ball duck after edging the in-form Dane Paterson (2-41), fresh from a seven-for in the last game, to wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne in the opening over.
Marques Ackerman then joined Roelofsen and struck 35 in an 80-run second wicket stand.
He was eventually dismissed by Jason Smith (1-36), before Paterson and debutant Thando Ntini (1-39), the son of Proteas great Makhaya, claimed his first scalp at this level to leave the Dolphins in a bit of trouble on 138-4.
That brought Roelofsen and Phehlukwayo together, with the pair adding an unbroken 96 for the fifth wicket to take their side into a strong position when the darkness set in.
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