Raynard van Tonder’s fifth career century handed the VKB Knights a powerful start to their round two 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Bloemfontein on Monday.
The young right-hander, the competition’s leading run-scorer last season, struck an unbeaten 119 off 226 deliveries (11 fours, 1 six) to take his side to a strong day one score of 323 for seven at the Mangaung Oval.
There were several starts from his team-mates, although no one else managed to kick on against a visiting attack that chipped away throughout the day.
Ottniel Baartman ended as the pick of the bowlers in his first match against his former franchise with two for 69.
But the day no doubt was tilted in favour of the Knights, who were convincing winners over the Warriors in the opening fixture a week ago.
They won the toss and batted first in the Free State where round one centurion Jacques Snyman (35) and Matthew Kleinveldt (44) provided them with a quick-fire start of 76 in just under 13 overs.
First-class debutant Lifa Ntanzi (1/54) was first to strike when he trapped the former leg before wicket, before the latter was taken out by Andile Phehlukwayo (1/44) just after the 100 was raised.
Captain Pite van Biljon (39) then added 64 alongside Van Tonder for the third wicket, before the 22-year-old put on another 59 with Farhaan Behardien (39).
Another new man Ruan de Swardt (1/32) and Senuran Muthusamy (1/25) accounted for the two veterans, with Keshav Maharaj (1/93) getting rid of Patirck Kruger (4) cheaply.
Wandile Makwetu (0) and Shaun von Berg (25) fell to Baartman, before Migael Pretorius (10 not out) kept Van Tonder company till the close.