Bad weather spoils entertaining clash

2009-11-14 00:00

HAD this been a boxing match, the Dolphins would be well ahead on points, and eager to land the knockout blow.

Sadly for the home side, the real winner may be the gloomy skies that wiped away half of yesterday’s play. By that stage, the Durbanites had marched their way to 336/7, with Ahmed Amla leading the cavalry.

Amla, undefeated on 134, had received excellent support from Jon Kent (73), who fell by way of a needless run out.

The pair had already added a priceless 154 in a stand that had started on Thursday afternoon. Yesterday, they picked up where they had left off.

Amla’s bat seemed to grow wider by the day, as the Eagles toiled manfully but without success.

Kent was equally impressive, until a calamitous sequence of schoolboy proportions led to his demise.

From there, the Dolphins suffered a mini-wobble with David Miller lasting a dozen balls, before Andrew Hall and Daryn Smit fell off successive Ryan Bailey nurdlers.

Amla, watching the carnage from the other end, was unperturbed and reached an excellent tenth first-class century.

The former captain then found an ally in Johan Louw, a man quite prone to the odd bout of boundary-bashing.

Louw started with admirable resolve to keep Amla company, but soon enough the willow-wielding began.

CJ de Villiers didn’t take too kindly to being smacked about by Louw, and a fiery spell hastened the umpires ushering the players off the field due to bad light.

It was certainly to the Eagles’ advantage, because Amla was playing as if facing a beach ball and Louw was becoming increasingly gallant in his hitting.

A lead of 158 could have quite easily swelled beyond 200, but the murky Maritzburg skies put paid to a good day’s entertainment.

The forecast for the weekend is hardly glowing, and Graham Ford’s charges may be left to wait a bit longer for that elusive four-day triumph.

On the evidence of the last two days, the Dolphins are certainly on the right track.

They bowled with great gusto on a muggy first day, and they responded well when a talented Free State attack asked questions of their middle-order resolve.

It is a great pity that the weather may play such a decisive part in what has been an entertaining tussle thus far.

SCOREBOARD

Eagles first innings 178

Dolphins first innings

(Overnight 171 for three)

I Khan c Dippenaar b Tshabalala32

C Delport c Elgar b Mpitsang18

H Amla b Tshabalala33

A Amla not out134

J Kent run out (De Villiers)73

D Miller c Rossouw b De Lange4

A Hall b Bailey1

D Smit lbw b Bailey0

J Louw not out20

Extras (8b, 7lb, 1w, 5nb)21

TOTAL (7 wickets in 105 overs) 336

Fall of wickets: 1/36, 2/75, 3/90, 4/244, 5/256, 6/259, 7/259

Bowling: Van der Wath 20.4-2-78-0 (1w, 1nb), Mpitsang 12-3-25-1 (1nb), De Villiers 15.2-1-66-0 (1nb), Tshabalala 23-4-77-2, De Lange 23-8-39-1, Bailey 11-2-36-2.

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