Jacques Snyman blasted the fastest-ever 4-Day Domestic Series century and the first pre-lunch ton in more than 40 years as he helped the VKB Knights dominate day one of the 2020/21 term against the Warriors in Bloemfontein on Monday.
The right-handed opener, playing red-ball franchise cricket for only the second time, plundered 18 fours and two sixes in his destructive 78-ball exhibition of 109 at the Mangaung Oval.
His performance, supported by half-centuries from Raynard van Tonder, Pite van Biljon as well as debutants Matthew Kleinveldt and Farhaan Behardien, took the Central franchise to stumps on 405 for five.
The performance of the Knights on what was also new coach Allan Donald’s first match in charge, ensured cricket returned in spectacular fashion following more than seven months of no play due to Covid-19.
There was plenty of buzz and excitement all across South Africa as the domestic game returned – and Snyman could not have provided a livelier start.
He reached his fifth career 100 in just 71 balls, beating the previous quickest franchise mark of 73 balls that was held by teammate Shaun von Berg.
By the time the 26-year-old was finally out before lunch, he had posted the highest score on day one of a domestic first-class match in South Africa since Lawrence Seeff hit 119 not out for Western Province B against Natal B at Cape Town in 1978.
Having won the toss and batted first against a Warriors team that was struck by coronavirus in the build-up to the game, forcing a few key players to be excluded, the hosts dominated the morning through Snyman and Kleinveldt posting 164 for one.
The only blot on the scorecard was when the former was run-out by Matthew Breetzke. This after having also scored the first day one ton in the competition since Rilee Rossouw struck 108 not out for the Eagles against the Titans at Centurion in 2010.
Despite that dismissal, the carnage continued as Kleinveldt struck 73 off 121 balls (8 fours, 1 six) and last season’s top run-scorer Van Tonder hit 85 (168 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes).
The runs continued to flow via the bats of captain Van Biljon (53 off 63 balls, 8 fours), before veteran Behardien ended a one-sided day with an unbeaten 67 (100 balls, 10 fours, 1 six).
Warriors debutant Marco Jansen, playing against his former franchise, finished as the pick of the bowlers with two for 73, while another man playing his first game for the Eastern Cape outfit, Mthiwekhaya Nabe claimed one for 88. Jon-Jon Smuts (1/33) claimed the other wicket to fall on day one.