A maiden career century by Matthew Breetzke helped South Africa Emerging dominate day one of their opening four-day battle against Sri Lanka Emerging at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
The right-hander struck 114 off 187 balls (10 fours) to help the hosts amass 281 for three in the 68 overs that were bowled.
There were also half-centuries from Janneman Malan and captain Raynard van Tonder on a dominant day for Shukri Conrad’s side, who were looking to bounce back following a disappointing One-Day leg of the tour.
The start of the game, the first of two that will end the tour, was delayed due to a wet patch on the pitch, meaning 22 overs were lost, but once the home side won the toss and batted, the openers flew out of the blocks.
Malan crashed a free-scoring 75 off 93 balls (12 fours, 1 six) and shared in an opening stand of 145 with Breetzke.
Following the departure of the former, bowled by Mohamed Shiraz (1/44), the latter went on to surpass his previous best score of 70 in first-class cricket during a second wicket stand worth 114 alongside the skipper.
They took the score to 259 when Breetzke edged Test all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne to wicketkeeper Minod Bhanuka, before another full Sri Lanka international, Lasith Embuldeniya, dismissed Jason Smith for one.
It left Van Tonder, not out on 67 (111 balls, 6 fours), and Sibonelo Makhanya (7) together at the close with SA well-placed.
SA Emerging squad: Tony de Zorzi (Multiply Titans), Janneman Malan (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Raynard van Tonder (VKB Knights), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Wandile Makwetu (VKB Knights), Sinethemba Qeshile (Warriors), Sibonelo Makhanya (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Marco Jansen (VKB Knights), Tshepang Dithole (bizhub Highveld Lions), Tshepo Ndwandwa (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Tladi Bokako (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Nandre Burger (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Kyle Simmonds (Northerns), Jason Smith (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Dayyaan Galiem (Multiply Titans), Thando Ntini (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras).