A counter-attacking rearguard half century by Robbie Frylinck helped rescue the Hollywoodbets Dolphins from trouble on day one of their Sunfoil Series encounter against the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.
The big all-rounder was still batting on 63 (68 balls, 4 fours, 3 sixes) when bad light ended play just after tea and his side on 282 for nine at the City Oval.
Frylinck was one of two half-centurions for the hosts, with the other being Dane Vilas, who smashed 70 off 76 balls (12 fours).
But the Dolphins will be ruing not making the most of batting first after they won the toss.
They were in trouble from the outset when Morne van Wyk (0) fell in the second over and then lost wickets in clusters.
After reaching 55 for one, Sarel Erwee (20), Khaya Zondo (4) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (44) fell in quick succession to leave them on 75 for four.
Senuran Muthusamy (34) then helped Vilas rebuild, but shortly after a 76-run fifth wicket stand, they slipped from 151 for four to 207 for eight.
It left Frylinck to pick up the pieces and he added 62 with Rabian Engelbrecht (20) for the ninth wicket, before the latter fell just after tea when bad light was about to set in and end the day almost 30 overs short.
Dane Paterson finished as the pick of the bowlers with three for 57, while Tshepo Moreki (2/70) and Dane Piedt (2/74) grabbed two wickets each.