Robbie Frylinck broke the South African franchise record for best figures in a match when he took 14 for 62 to bowl the Dolphins to victory over the Lions in Potchefstroom. In February 2015, Kagiso Rabada, who took 14 for 105 for Lions against the Dolphins, surpassed Dale Steyn's 14 for 110 for the Titans against the Eagles seven season's earlier.
Frylinck's haul made Dolphins, who have two wins in as many matches, the early leaders in the first-class competition.
Having played some of his cricket on the Highveld, Frylinck was fairly familiar with a surface that offered some pace, bounce and rewarded good lengths. Yet, he may have not expected to bowl the opposition out twice for under 150. The Dolphins won by 77 runs.
The first innings proved batting would be tough. Only one of the Dolphins' batsmen, Khaya Zondo, managed fifty plus, but 72-run seventh wicket stand from new Test call up Keshav Maharaj dragged the total past 250.
If Maharaj wanted to celebrate his maiden international call up, he was left disappointed as Frylinck ripped through the Lions before he could be given a bowl. Frylinck took 8 for 30 in the first innings to blast the Lions out for 110, to give the Dolphins a 143 run lead.
But the Lions had a ready response. Wiaan Mulder, their schoolboy protege, took seven for 25 to bowl the Dolphins out for 83 and keep the Lions in the game. Zondo was the standout, again, with 44, with only one other batsmen got into double figures.
The Lions were set a gettable 227 for victory but Frylinck was at them again. He took three of the opening five wickets at the Lions were struggling on 115 for 5. They went into the third morning needing 107 to win but when top-scorer Kagiso Rapulana was dismissed for 42, the writing was on the wall. The last five wickets fell for 17 runs to end the match inside three days.
The Cobras slipped to a second big defeat, as they lost to the Knights by 175 runs in Bloemfontein. In-form fast bowler Marchant de Lange topped up on his seven wickets in last week's fixture against the Titans, with 6 for 61 in the second innings to dismiss the Cobras well off their target of 444. The loss adds further pressure on Paul Adams, whose job as coach has been under scrutiny ever since the season began.
On what is usually a flat pitch in Bloemfontein, the Knights chose to bat first but were in early trouble. They lost both openers with only nine on the board, before Theunis de Bruyn and Pite van Biljon put on 109 for the third wicket, both scoring half-centuries. Fast bowler Dane Paterson broke the partnership, before Test discard Dane Piedt took two wickets off consecutive overs to engineer a collapse that saw the Knights lose 4 for 60 and slip to 178 for 6. Former Cobras player Robin Peterson led the second recovery, which saw batsmen from No.7 to No.10 all post scores in the forties to take the Knights to 342.
If the Knights were anxious about whether they'd scored enough, the Cobras put any doubts to rest when they slipped to 96 for 4. Stiaan van Zyl, who was also left out of the Test squad, held them together with 83 and was supported by Aviwe Mgijima who scored 50. However, the Knights kept them in check. Left-arm fast bowler Mbulelo Budaza picked up 4 for 45, while Duanne Olivier and van Schalkwyk chipped in with two each to give the Knights a 101-run lead.
The Cobras fought back to take the first three Knights wickets for 43, but van Biljon and Rudi Second scored 123 and 106 respectively to consolidate the Knights' advantage. Although the rest of the Knights line-up didn't contribute, they scored 342 and set up a 444-run target. Cobras captain Omphile Ramela was the surprise pick of the bowlers, taking a career-best 4 for 39 with his part-time left-arm spin.
The Cobras started solidly and went into the final day needing 376 runs with nine wickets in hand. However, they collapsed from 114 for 1 to 164 for 6, as van Schalkwyk and de Lange shared the five wickets. Jason Smith had enough partners to see him through to his third first-class hundred - 100 not out off 88 balls - but not a run more. The Cobras were bowled out for 268 and now find themselves at the bottom of the table, having managed just 10.82 points from their first two fixtures.
The Titans have not fared much better, with 12.28 points from their first two matches in the absence of new head coach Mark Boucher, who had a prior arrangement. His team, who have yet to post a total of more than 300, lost by six wickets to the Warriors in Port Elizabeth.
Trouble began early for the Titans when they lost Dean Elgar in the second over after opting to bar. Heino Kuhn managed 52, but the rest of the Titans line-up could not come to terms with the Warriors bowlers, led by Basheer Walters and Simon Harmer who picked up three wickets each.
With Morne Morkel in their ranks, the Titans might have been hopeful of defending their 227, especially after he had Michael Price caught behind with his first ball. However, Colin Ackermann scored his seventh first-class century as he put on 135 for the second wicket with Edward Moore (69), and 90 for the third with Lesiba Ngoepe (45). He took the Warriors comfortably past the Titans score, before being dismissed for 136. The tail then stretched the lead to 131. Morkel finished with 3 for 54.
The Titans were looking at an innings defeat when they crashed to 108 for 8 in reply, and had to rely on a 100-run ninth-wicket stand between Heinrich Klaasen and Morkel to stay in the game. Harmer broke the stand with his fourth wicket of the innings, before Rowan Richards' run-out left Klaasen stranded on 97, and the Warriors with only 105 to get. They lost four wickets in getting there, but Moore's second fifty of the match, an unbeaten 58, saw them home comfortably.