A century by Vaughn van Jaarsveld helped the Hollywoodbets Dolphins make a solid start to their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter against the log-leading World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in their decisive final round encounter in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

The hosts reached the close at the City Oval on 293 for six thanks to the opener’s 21st career century.

Van Jaarsveld made 120 (153 balls, 16 fours, 1 six) and shared in a 111-run opening stand with Michael Erlank, who made exactly 50 (121 balls, 8 fours) in his second game for the franchise. Their partnership laid a solid foundation for basement side the Dolphins against a visiting side who are in pursuit of a first four-day crown since 2013/14.

They went into the game with just over a three-point lead over the bizhub Highveld Lions, but were on the backfoot early on as the home openers got away after losing the toss and being asked to bat first.

After their stand was eventually broken by George Linde, who was outstanding with four for 62, wickets began to fall more regularly.

The Dolphins batsmen would have been kicking themselves, though, as everyone bar Sibonelo Makhanya (0), had starts.

Marques Ackerman (23) added 50 for the second wicket with Van Jaarsveld, with 55 following between the latter and captain Khaya Zondo (25) for wicket number three.

After the dismissal of the centurion left the score on 226 for five, Grant Roelofsen (17) and Senuran Muthusamy (27 not out) added 38 together, with Keshav Maharaj (20 not out) keeping the latter company at the close.