Cape Town - A maiden career century by Matthew Breetzke helped South Africa Emerging dominate day one of their opening four-day battle against Sri Lanka Emerging at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
The right-hander struck 114 off 187 balls (10 fours) to help the hosts amass 281 for three in the 68 overs that were bowled.
There were also half-centuries from Janneman Malan and captain Raynard van Tonder on a dominant day for Shukri Conrad’s side, who were looking to bounce back following a disappointing One-Day leg of the tour.
The start of the game, the first of two that will end the tour, was delayed due to a wet patch on the pitch, meaning 22 overs were lost, but once the home side won the toss and batted, the openers flew out of the blocks.
Malan crashed a free-scoring 75 off 93 balls (12 fours, 1 six) and shared in an opening stand of 145 with Breetzke.
Following the departure of the former, bowled by Mohamed Shiraz (1/44), the latter went on to surpass his previous best score of 70 in first-class cricket during a second wicket stand worth 114 alongside the skipper.
They took the score to 259 when Breetzke edged Test all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne to wicketkeeper Minod Bhanuka, before another full Sri Lanka international, Lasith Embuldeniya, dismissed Jason Smith for one.
It left Van Tonder, not out on 67 (111 balls, 6 fours), and Sibonelo Makhanya (7) together at the close with SA well-placed.