Pietermaritzburg - A first century of the season for the in-form Marques Ackerman and an undefeated 89 from opener Sarel Erwee saw the Dolphins gain the advantage at the end of day one of their 4-Day Franchise Series match with the Lions at the Pietermaritzburg Oval on Monday.
It was an important toss to win and Ackerman was on the right side of that result as a docile wicket greeted the Lions opening bowlers.
Hero from Oudtshoorn Grant Roelofsen could only manage nine before he was caught off a miss-timed pull shot off the bowling of Eldred Hawken in the sixth over of the innings.
From there captain Ackerman and Erwee pieced together a dominant partnership that yielded the best return for a Dolphins pair this season. Their 194 run partnership came in fifty overs as they scored freely for the most part of the day.
Ackerman brought up his first century of the season to go with six half tons when he lofted Wihan Lubbe over mid-wicket for four. His 107 came in 138 deliveries with thirteen fours and a solitary maximum.
Erwee and Vaughn van Jaarsveld steered the ship to tea with the Dolphins 231 for two after 60 overs. During the tea interval the rain arrived at the Pietermaritzburg Oval and the sides couldn't return to the field.
Speaking at the close, overnight batsman Erwee, who is 89 not out, is more than happy with the situation the Dolphins find themselves in going into day two.
"We can now dictate where we want the game to go," Erwee said. "We can decide how long we want to bat for and because we scored quickly today we are ahead of the game which is good."
Erwee has not been at his fluent best in red ball cricket this season with only one half century to his name in the 4-day campaign so to be in the runs is a welcome sight for the left-hander.
"It's pleasing to knuckle down and just bat time because I haven't batted for long periods over the last couple of months," he added following his unbeaten 213 ball stay at the wicket.
Ackerman was as silky smooth as ever making batting against Proteas bowlers Bjorn Fortuin and Beuren Hendricks look effortless. Erwee didn't try and match his batting partner as he continued to play himself into form.
"I've watched Vaughn (Van Jaarsveld) dominate attacks over the past few seasons so it's nothing new, so for me I just need to stay in my bubble because I know things will go my way.
"The four balls will come I can capitalise on that."
The Dolphins will resume on Tuesday on 231 for two with Erwee on 89 and Van Jaarsveld on six.
- Gameplan Media