Cape Town - Alviro Petersen's fine form this season continued as his century set up a narrow eight-run win for the Highveld Lions over the Dolphins in their Momentum One-Day Cup match at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Friday.
Batting at number three, the former Proteas opener struck his fifth ton of this year’s competition in his seventh match and only his sixth innings, as his 107 off just 92 balls, which included seven fours and three sixes, saw the Lions post 276 for seven after being asked to bat first.
The Dolphins, in reply, fell just short in their run chase as they ended on 268 for seven, despite half-centuries from Ryan McLaren and Kyle Nipper with rookie fast bowler Matt McGillivray finishing with four for 49.
The loss means that the Dolphins, who have won just three out of eight matches, may well miss out on a play-off place although they still, mathematically, have an outside chance of pushing for third place.
Victory for the Lions saw the Gauteng-based franchise move to second on the log with three games still to play.
Opener Rassie van der Dussen (45) provided the Lions with a decent start to their innings, before he was trapped leg-before by fast bowler Craig Alexander.
Petersen and Temba Bavuma, with an enterprising 42 off 56 balls, then shared in what proved to be a match-winning 116-run third-wicket partnership off 17.4 overs.
The veteran batsman was relatively becalmed early on with his fifty coming off 53 deliveries, but he needed just 31 more balls to reach his century.
McLaren was the pick of the bowlers with three for 46.
The Dolphins made a wobbly start to their innings before McLaren, with 62 off 89 balls, and Kyle Nipper, who scored 55 off 67 deliveries with six fours and a six, shared in a fourth-wicket partnership of 117.
But both men were dismissed by McGillivray, before cameos from Khaya Zondo (24), Calvin Savage (27) and Keshav Maharaj (21 not out) ran the Lions close.