The month of September traditionally marks the start of the South African first-class season. This year has been different, though, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning a delay to the start of 2020/21 campaign.
As part of an ongoing Monday series, we look back at some of the more memorable performances from the opening round of four-day fixtures over the years.
It was the opening round of the 2012/13 Sunfoil Series season and Quinton de Kock’s first match as fully contracted player of the Lions.
Still only 19, the young opener made a real statement of intent with a thrilling 194 at Senwes Park in a match his team suffered defeat at the hands of the Cape Cobras.
Nonetheless, it was the early stages of a journey that has taken South Africa’s limited-overs captain to the top of the cricketing world.
De Kock was already a hit by the time he joined the franchise ranks after starring for his country at the 2012 Under-19 World Cup where they ended third.
Playing solely as an opener in his first game of the 2012/13 term, his Lions team conceded a hefty 543 in the first innings after their Cape rivals won the toss and opted to bat first.
Andrew Puttick (194), Dane Vilas (97 not out) and Stiaan van Zyl (57) were the key performers for the visitors, while Imran Tahir ended as the most successful of the bowlers with five for 176.
De Kock managed 34 in his first outing to the middle as the Lions struggled to 210 all out.
Stephen Cook top-scored with 52, while Alistair Gray proved a surprise tormenter with three for 38.
Then after being asked to follow on, De Kock produced a masterclass.
After Cook (12) and Zander de Bruyn (one) were dismissed early, he shared in a century stand with Neil McKenzie (51) and another near-century stand with Temba Bavuma (22).
His valiant effort eventually ended when he was trapped leg before wicket by Dane Piedt, who turned out to be the key wicket-taker in the second innings with five for 113.
It was nonetheless an excellent effort from De Kock and his score in that game until today remains his highest in first-class cricket.