Home Sport Dolphins close in on win

Dolphins close in on win

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Massive second-wicket partnership helps the hosts pile up a first innings lead of 200.

Keegan Petersen and Sarel Erwee put on a 344-run partnership against the Lions. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Big centuries by Sarel Erwee and Keegan Petersen in a record venue partnership helped the Dolphins close in on victory over the defending champions Lions after three days of the 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Durban on Wednesday.

The pair put on a brilliant exhibition of batting, amassing 344 runs together for the second wicket at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium to help the hosts pile up 458/3 in response to the visitors’ 258 all out on day two – a lead of 200.

Three wickets by Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj then left the 2019/20 winners limping to stumps on 75/3, needing 125 to make the Dolphins bat again.

It completed a wonderful all-round day for the home side and in particular their centurions Erwee and Petersen. Their second-wicket partnership was the highest for any wicket at the famous venue, topping the 316 stand between Mark Bruyns and Errol Stewart for KwaZulu-Natal against Boland way back in 1998/99.

Opener Erwee fell a single run short of a double century when he fell for his highest franchise score of 199 (282 balls, 25 fours, 1 six).

Debutant Petersen, meanwhile, completed his 16th first-class ton and was eventually dismissed for 173 (363 balls, 16 fours, 1 six).

The pair started the day together with their side on 189/1 and by the time they were separated by Dwaine Pretorius (1/44), the Dolphins were already well ahead in the game.

Captain Marques Ackerman came in next and hit an attacking 52 not out off 65 balls (6 fours), while Maharaj plundered 17 off 13 balls that allowed the hosts to declare on the stroke of tea.

Maharaj then opened the bowling in reply and he stuck regularly in his 17 overs leaving the Lions in a hole.

Dominic Hendricks (12), Rassie van der Dussen (10) and Reeza Hendricks (38) all fell victim to South Africa’s premier Test spinner as the home side went to stumps strongly placed.