Half centuries by Pite van Biljon and Farhaan Behardien ensured the VKB Knights maintained their dominance over the Hollywoodbets Dolphins on the penultimate day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
However, an unbeaten 58 (128 balls, 10 fours) by the in-form Sarel Erwee was delaying the Central Franchise’s victory push with the visitors going to stump on 138 for two – chasing an unlikely 457 for victory.
Earlier, captain Van Biljon lead from the front with a strong 93 off 125 balls (7 fours, 1 six) and veteran Behardien recorded an unbeaten 50 (98 balls, 3 fours) with the pair helping their side post 208 for four declared in their second innings.
The home side started day three at the Mangaung Oval on 21 for none and looking to build quickly on their big first-innings lead.
Openers Raynard van Tonder (26) and Matthew Kleinveldt (21) managed to add a further 16 to their overnight partnership, before the latter was dismissed by debutant Lifa Ntanzi (1/22).
Van Tonder battled on till the total reached 75 when he was cleaned up by Keshav Maharaj (1/59), bringing together Van Biljon and Behardien.
The pair added 108 together for the third wicket to take the game almost completely away from the coastal side.
The partnership was eventually ended by Senuran Muthusamy (2/19), who also accounted for Patrick Kruger (7) just after the 200 was raised as the Knights declared in the 57th over.
It was then over to the Dolphins to see if they could bat out the remaining four sessions and a bit and they did fairly well to only lose two wickets by the close.
Key to their fight was Erwee, who continued to brim with confidence following his 199 in the opening round of fixtures last week.
However, his opening partner Grant Roelofsen extended his woeful start to the season, following his scores of nought, one and two in his previous three innings with another duck – Migael Pretorius (1/32) the bowler.
A 90-run second-wicket stand, however, got the Dolphins going as Keegan Petersen (48) provided strong support for Erwee.
But Patrick Kruger (1/18) then landed an important second blow, before Marques Ackerman prevented any further loss with an unbeaten 32 that took the away side to the close with eight wickets still intact and 319 still to get.