KESHAV MAHARAJ grabbed three wickets on his return to Sunfoil Series action to put the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in the driving seat before bad light ended play early on day two of their clash against the bizhub Highveld Lions in Pietermaritzburg on Friday. The slow left-armer took 3/33 in 19 disciplined overs to leave the visitors in a spin on 108/4 at stumps in reply to the hosts’ 339 all out earlier in the day. That meant the top-of-the-table home side were still 231 ahead and firmly in control at the halfway stage of the contest, which saw play end shortly after tea due to bad light on the second afternoon.
Khaya Zondo was the other star man for the Dolphins after he earlier ended unbeaten on 141 (290 balls, 21 fours). The No. 4 batsman was unbeaten on 105 overnight as his team resumed on 285/6, but Standard Bank Proteas all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius took 5/54 to ensure that just 54 were added for the final four wickets.
The Lions then found themselves in a huge hole with the bat.
Rassie van der Dussen was trapped leg before wicket by Mthokozisi Shezi (1/14), before Maharaj made his mark. The 26-year-old last featured for his franchise in their second-round win over the same opponents, after which he was called up by the Proteas and subsequently won four Test caps. And he showed superb form by dismissing Stephen Cook (17), Nicky van den Bergh (4) and Devon Conway (0), leaving the visitors on 49/4. It took an unbroken partnership of 59 between Dominic Hendricks (47) and Pretorius (33) to keep the Lions in the game, but the hosts remained in the pound seat.