An opening day hundred from Dane Vilas steadied the Hollywoodbets Dolphins ship as they finished the day one of the Sunfoil Series clash with the WSB Cape Cobras at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn on 310/8, on Monday.
The veteran was the strongest Dolphins batsman against his former franchise as he took the attack to the bowling finishing on 145 not out from 177 deliveries which included 18 boundaries and one six.
The toss saw the hosts put the Dolphins in to bat, and it was Proteas opening bowler Vernon Philander who struck in the first over when he had Senuran Muthusamy caught behind by Kyle Verreyne without troubling the scorers.
There was more trouble soon after that when make-shift opener Morné van Wyk was bowled by Lizaad Williams for two leaving the Dolphins 11/2 in eight overs.
Form batsmen for the Dolphins Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Cody Chetty began to rebuild patiently and took the Dolphins past 50 before Van Jaarsveld fell for 35, a second catch for wicket-keeper Verreyne off the bowling of Jason Smith.
Captain Khaya Zondo, playing in his 100th First-Class match for the Dolphins, then joined Chetty. The pair were circumspect in the way they went about their business and took their partnership to 42 and the Dolphins to 100 before Chetty fell for 43 – the score 100-4.
Zondo continued to plug away at the one end while Dane Vilas looked positive from the other scoring at close to a run a ball. Zondo’s vigil came to an end when he was on 41, caught by Cobras captain Dane Piedt off Jason Smith.
Vilas carried on positively and went to a second consecutive half century off just 51 deliveries.
Sibz Makhanya was patient but couldn’t take his score past 10 before he became Williams’ second victim, trapped in front.
Calvin Savage came and went leaving Vilas to go to his first hundred for the Dolphins and his fourteenth first-class century.
Prenelan Subrayen and Vilas put on 68 runs for the eighth wicket before the former became Philander’s third victim with the score on 300.
Dolphins debutant Keith Dudgeon then joined Vilas in the twilight hours in the Klein Karoo town and the pair guided their team to the close of play.
Vilas will begin the second day of the contest just shy of 150 and Dudgeon will continue on 4.