Champions make statement in Bloem

VKB Knights captain Theunis de Bruyn

VKB Knights captain Theunis de Bruyn

Captain Theunis de Bruyn fell just short of a double ton as the VKB Knights made a happy return to Sunfoil Series action by dominating the opening day of their clash against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Thursday.

The right-hander recorded a fluent 190 (225 balls, 25 fours, 4 sixes) to help his side to a commanding 400 for six at the close after winning the toss and batting at the start.

The Central franchise endured a miserable three months of white ball cricket where they ended as wooden spoonists in both the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge and Momentum One-Day Cup, but looked much more assured in a competition they won last year.

Led by the skipper’s ninth first-class century and second score in the 190s this season – he also hit 195 against the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Bloemfontein – they looked comfortable against the visiting attack.

Luthando Mnyanda struck 74 (132 balls, 9 fours) and helped De Bruyn put on 198 for the second wicket - a record against the Dolphins, beating the 112 added by Dean Elgar and Boeta Dippenaar back in the 2011/12 season.

There were also contributions of 40 by Pite van Biljon and 35 from Patrick Kruger and an unbeaten 35 via Rudi Second.

Away captain and Standard Bank Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj (2/103) was one of two bowlers to pick up two wickets alongside Senuran Muthusamy (2/56).