Van Jaarsveld ton puts Dolphins in control
Vaughn van Jaarsveld struck a superb 101 to put the Sunfoil Dolphins into a strong position at 326 for six at the close of play on day one of their final Sunfoil Series match of the season against the Nashua Titans at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.
A late flurry of wickets spoiled what could've been an even better day for the visitors as four batsmen failed to make the most of solid starts on a hot and humid day in Centurion.
Dolphins skipper Daryn Smit won the toss and opted to have a bat in the morning session, although play was delayed due to wet run-up areas after Wednesday's heavy thunderstorms.
After losing opener Divan van Wyk early for seven, caught by Farhaan Behardien off the bowling of JP de Villiers, Imraan Khan made a breezy 46 off 58 balls including eight fours, as he and Khayelihle Zondo took the score to 58 for two before Khan became Marchant de Lange's first wicket of the day, caught by De Villiers just four short of a half-century.
Zondo and Van Jaarsveld, who took the Dolphins to lunch at 83 for two, returned to rattle up a sparkling 114-run partnership after the break, before Zondo was finally out, caught behind by Heino Kuhn off the bowling of Roelof van der Merwe for a well played 51 with seven fours and a six.
The pair scored freely in the afternoon session, at times nearing six to the over as the visitors' 100 came up in the 29th over, the 150 ten overs later and the 100-run partnership arriving off just 134 balls after 88 minutes together at the crease.
Van Jaarsveld took three fours off JP de Villiers in the 35th over, his 50 coming up off just 61 balls with ten fours, while Zondo took a particular liking to Shaun von Berg, striking the leggie for a four and a six off consecutive balls in the 36th over. Von Berg's nine overs proved costly, going for 52 runs with no reward at nearly six to the over.
Cody Chetty joined Van Jaarsveld after Zondo's departure in the 45th over, but the Dolphins' No 4 showed no signs of slowing down, taking 14 runs off Behardien's fifth over, courtesy of two fours and a six, with the last ball going for a further four leg-byes.
Van Jaarsveld brought up his century on the stroke of tea, off Van der Merwe, who finished the day with figures of 1-60 off 20 toiling overs.
Van Jaarsveld added just one to his total after the tea break, caught in the first over by Van der Merwe off the bowling of Henry Davids for an excellent 101 off just 110 balls, studded with 14 fours and three sixes. The stand for the fourth wicket yielded 64 runs off 13.3 overs and was the second substantial partnership Van Jaarsveld was involved in for the day.
Jonathan Vandiar joined Chetty and together the pair crafted a valuable 70-run partnership for the fifth wicket to take the score past 300, before De Lange returned to pick up his second wicket of the day when he had Chetty caught by Van der Merwe for a patient 49 with two fours.
Vandiar fell to Rowan Richards late in the day for 41, including three fours and a six, as bad light briefly threatened to end play, but the visitors remain in the driving seat with Kyle Abbot on four and skipper Smit on 12 resuming on day two.
Titans quick De Lange continued his return to first class cricket after injury by picking up 2-32 off his 11 overs, while Richards, JP de Villiers, Davids and Van der Merwe all picked up one wicket apiece for the home side.
NASHUA TITANS: Jacques Rudolph, Francois le Clus, Henry Davids (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Heino Kuhn, Mangaliso Mosehle (w/k), Roelof van der Merwe, Marchant de Lange, Shaun von Berg, JP de Villiers, Rowan Richards.
SUNFOIL DOLPHINS: Divan van Wyk, Imraan Khan, Jon Vandiar, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Cody Chetty, Khayelihle Zondo, Daryn Smit (w/k capt), Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj, Mthokozisi Shezi, Craig