Durban - A seventh first class century from opening batsman Sarel Erwee helped his side negotiate a day of attrition as the Knights probed throughout the day to see the hosts finish on 207 for four at the close of day one on Monday.
The Dolphins won the toss under overcast skies and batted first. The decision might have been seen as an error when they found themselves 22 for two with Grant Roelofsen and Marques Ackerman back in the change room.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld then helped Erwee steady the ship as the experienced pair put together a measured partnership of 32 in just over twenty overs against some tight bowling from the Bloemfontein side.
Van Jaarsveld fell to a delivery that held in the pitch and was caught at cover for twenty as the Dolphins found themselves in a potentially tricky situation on 54 for three.
Sibz Makhanya, who has just returned from injury, joined Erwee at the wicket and looked assured throughout his stay in the middle.
He was also patient and scored a well-constructed 44 from 114 balls before nicking a Partick Kruger delivery to Shaun von Berg at gully.
The partnership between Erwee and Makhanya was worth 104 from 39 overs as they batted the entire middle session of the day.
At the loss of Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy joined Erwee and the pair took their side to stumps.
Their stand is unbroken on 49 going into day two with Erwee not out on 112 and Muthusamy not out on twenty.
Speaking after his marathon knock, Erwee mentioned that the wicket dictated how they had to play.
"That is probably the slowest wicket I have played on here at Kingsmead," the left-hander said. "The Knights were clever in how they bowled and were bowling cutters really early on in the day.
"Even the new ball this afternoon was taking some turn so that might play into our hands going forward.
"I think anything over 280 in the first innings will be good and then we can dictate how we want to the game to go from there."
Erwee's hundred came from 246 deliveries and included nine fours as he followed up a century and a fifty last week in Pietermaritzburg with his seventh first class ton.
- Gameplan Media