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Erwee ton puts Dolphins in control

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Sarel Erwee shared in a fine unbroken 188-run partnership with debutant Keegan Petersen.

Sarel Erwee of the Dolphins Bats during the CSA 4-Day 2020/21 match against the Lions in Durban. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – An eighth career first-class century by Sarel Erwee drove the Dolphins into a powerful position at the halfway stage of their season-opening 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Lions in Durban on Tuesday.

The left-hander stroked 123 off 146 balls (19 fours) and was still there at stumps, which his side reached at 189/1.

He shared in a fine unbroken 188-run partnership with debutant Keegan Petersen, who was not out on a patient 59 (158 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) at the other end as the hosts reduced the innings deficit to just 69 by the close.

This after another new face Ottniel Baartman had earlier returned outstanding figures of 4/41 to help dismiss the reigning champions for just 258.

Wandile Gwavu’s side had started the second day in a solid position of 152/3 after the entire morning was lost on day one on account of heavy weekend rain. But they managed to add just 106 for the remaining seven wickets.

Captain Temba Bavuma, unbeaten overnight, fell relatively early to Baartman for 43, with Nicky van den Bergh (one) also falling to the same former Knights bowler not long after.

Dwaine Pretorius (10) fell to Kerwin Mungroo (2/37), before Bjorn Fortuin (2) and Sisanda Magala (0) were sent on their way by Keshav Maharaj (1/84).

However, Ryan Rickelton, who was the other man that held his wicket at the end of the first day, found a little support through Aaron Phangiso (12) and Beuran Hendricks (14 not out), helping the Lions at least get past 250.

But Rickelton was eventually last man out for 60 off 154 balls (3 fours) – the two-time defending champions all out in 89.1 overs.

The Dolphins suffered a big blow when they lost one of their stars of last season, Grant Roelofsen for a second-ball duck to Beuran Hendricks (1/42) with the score on one.

But they dominated from there thanks to Petersen and Erwee and held all the aces heading into the second half of the game.