Dark day for Dolphins

2013-11-22 00:00

YESTERDAY was dull in more ways than one for the Dolphins on the opening day of their Sunfoil Four Day Series clash against the Cobras at Pietermaritzburg Oval.

Surprisingly, there was no rain although dark clouds hung over the ground throughout the day until umpires took the players from the field just before 3.25 pm due to bad light.

In what looked like a comedy of errors, the umpires took another look at the light and the players re-emerged from the pavilion at 3.32 pm, playing until just before 4 pm when they were off again, 11 overs before the day’s full quota had been bowled.

At that stage, the Cobras had struck and were in complete control of proceedings at 128-3 in their first innings, in reply to the Dolphins’ rather meek effort of 88 all out.

On a pitch that had no grass, was slow and offered uneven bounce, Dolphins captain Morné van Wyk called correctly and surprisingly took first guard considering the conditions.

From the start, the Dolphins stuttered. Divan van Wyk (0) was dismissed in the first over by Beuran Hendricks and was soon followed by Khaya Zondo (12) and Imraan Khan (11), although these two were two of only three Dolphins batsmen to reach double figures.

Vaughn van Jaarsveld (39) spent 145 minutes at the crease, facing 120 balls before he was last man out, bowled by Hendricks from a ball that kept low.

He fought a lone battle, trying to bat with the lower order, turning down runs available in the outfield as he attempted to form the strike.

No other resistance was offered by the Dolphins batsmen as extras, with 13, was the next best contributor after Van Jaarsveld.

Credit must be given to the Cobras, who used the conditions to their advantage.

Their bowlers gave nothing away and the pitch was ideally suited to right-arm off break bowler Dane Piedt who sent down 20 unchanged overs to claim 3-41. Rory Kleinveldt managed 3-15 in 11 overs and Hendricks 3-21 in 8.4 overs.

The Dolphins were back in the pavilion after 47.4 overs, scoring at 1,84 runs per over.

The Cobras opening batsmen took guard at 1.06 pm.

Needing to strike early to stay in the game, the Dolphins opted to open their attack from the Dusi end (after Kyle Abbotts’s opening over from the Maritzburg College end) with Prenelan Subrayen’s off-breaks.

He got the breakthrough on 22, forcing Andrew Puttick to drive loosely to Graham Onions at mid-on, but steady partnerships of 37 and 68 for the second and third wickets, soon took the Cobras past the Dolphins’ total in 24.5 overs and into the ascendancy.

Stiaan van Zyl has looked classy in his undefeated 63, while Graham Onions has battled with his line and length, conceding 33 runs in his seven overs, bowling too much on the pads and on the leg-side, allowing the batsmen to work the ball away freely.

It could be said the Dolphins enjoyed their best period with the ball just prior to play being halted, left arm orthodox spinner Keeshav Maharaj snaffling opener Omphile Ramela (18) and Cobras skipper Justin Ontong (23).

But three wickets is not enough as the Dolphins have all the work to do to stay in the match and make a fight of proceedings.

With the weather said to be improving, there can only be a change of gear from the home side if they hope to make something of this match and earn their opponent’s respect in the remaining three days, if the contest goes the distance, which at this stage, seems unlikely.

Play starts at 9 am today.

Scoreboard

Dolphins first innings

D van Wyk b Hendricks0

I Khan lbw b Hendricks11

K Zondo c & b Kleinveldt12

V van Jaarsveld b Hendricks39

C Chetty c Puttick b Piedt2

M van Wyk c Kemp b Piedt0

D Smit b Kemp1

K Maharaj lbw b Kleinveldt4

K Abbott c Vilas b Kleinveldt0

P Subrayen lbw b Piedt0

G Onions not out6

Extras: (3b, 1lb, 9nb)13

TOTAL: (all out - 47.4 overs)88

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-28, 3-32, 4-57, 5-57, 6-58, 7-76, 8-80, 9-81, 10- 88

Bowling: Hendricks 8.4-1-21-3 (8nb), Kleinveldt 11-7-15-3 (1nb), Piedt 20-4-41-3, Kemp 8-5-7-1

Cape Cobras innings

O Ramela lbw b Maharaj19

A Puttick c Onions b Subrayen11

S van Zyl not out63

J Ontong c Smit b Maharaj23

M Vallie not out0

Extras: (4b, 4lb, 4nb)12

TOTAL: (for three wickets -35.1 overs)128

Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-59, 3-127

Bowling: Abbott 9-1-29-0 (3nb), Subrayen 9-1-20-1, Onions 7-0-33-0 (1nb), Maharaj 10.1-2-38-2.

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