There were three half-centuries at the top of the order for the Dolphins as the momentum swung to and fro in their Sunfoil Series cricket match against the Warriors at St George’s Park yesterday.
Morne van Wyk (58), Sarel Erwee (52) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (51 not out) all contributed as the visitors fought their way back into the contest by reaching 208 for three at stumps on day two, for an overall lead of 149 runs.
On a day of twists and turns, the Dolphins would have been the happier of the two sides when one considers the position they found themselves in after day one.
Their second innings batting was far more measured and openers Erwee and the experienced Van Wyk got their team off to a good start by wiping out the deficit of 59 and going on to post 90 for the first wicket.
Van Wyk, playing in his 21st season of professional cricket, was eventually well-caught by Gihahn Cloete at gully off Aya Gqamane.
His partner Erwee followed 29 runs later when he dragged a Tladi Bokako delivery onto his wicket.
And when Senuran Muthusamy was given out leg before wicket off Simon Harmer the Warriors would have believed they were back in it at 124 for three.
But Van Jaarsveld scored some attractive boundaries in the last hour to put his team in command. He will continue for the visitors this morning along with Sibonelo Makhanya, who is on 39.
Starting day two on 100 for four and only 45 runs behind on the first innings, the Warriors would have been determined to build on the advantage they had engineered with the ball on day one.
But all that good work was undone in the morning session as they lost their last six wickets for the addition of only 107 runs.
Their total of 207 could have been substantially greater had they exercised more control and patience.
There were some injudicious shots that ultimately allowed the Dolphins to wrest back the advantage.
Seamer Kerwin Mungroo ran in hard for the Dolphins and was rewarded for his effort by taking five for 45, his franchise best.
Yaseen Vallie and Lesiba Ngoepe resumed the innings for the Warriors yesterday morning and the two of them batted sensibly to move to within one run of the Dolphins’ first innings total of 145.
But left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy broke their 81-run stand by tempting Ngoepe (45) into an ambitious stroke that the left-hander skied to Sarel Erwee, who ran in to pouch the catch.
With the score still on 144 and only three balls later, Vallie (42) was trapped leg before wicket by Muthusamy.
And when Harmer was stumped by Dane Vilas the home team were suddenly seven wickets down and a mere four runs ahead.
Aya Gqamane swung lustily down the order and cracked 42 off 43 balls to at least ensure the Warriors got past the 200-mark.