Dolphins leave Lions far adrift

2008-10-10 00:00

THE Highveld Lions were 378 runs behind the KZN Dolphins on the first innings with seven wickets in hand at the end of day two of the SuperSport Series match at Kingsmead yesterday.

In reply to the Dolphins’ mammoth 459 for five declared, the Lions were on 81 for three when stumps were drawn.

The platform for the Dolphins’ influence on this match was laid by captain Ahmed Amla with a little help from his friends.

Amla enhanced his good form with an undefeated 164 made in eight-and-a-half hours, his 10th first-class century involving 337 balls in all, including 17 fours and one six.

If Amla was the bedrock, he was ably supported along the way by three batsmen who shared in 100-plus partnerships with their skipper.

The first, of 127, was with co-century maker Imraan Khan on Thursday, the second totalled 149 runs yesterday with Pierre de Bruyn and the last, of 116, was with Daryn Smit.

De Bruyn made 64 off 182 balls in just under four-and-a-half hours with seven fours, while Smit was unbeaten 55 not out off 111 balls in a two-hour knock containing nine boundaries.

The Lions’ opening batsmen, captain Neil McKenzie and Stephen Cook, put on 72 for the first wicket before Cook was caught behind by wicketkeeper Smit off the bowling of Yusuf Abdullah.

This precipitated something of a collapse when Werner Coetsee and nightwatchman Andre Nel went cheaply.

And to compound the Lions’ woes, last week’s back-to-back hundreds hero Alviro Petersen was struck down with food poisoning, forcing a rearrangement of the batting order. The Lions will be hoping the accomplished Petersen recovers in time fortomorrow’s play at least.

And even if Petersen can play no part in this first innings, the experienced McKenzie is still in the middle, and quality batsmen like teenager Jonathan Vandiar and Vaughn van Jaarsveld could well make their mark with the skipper.

The onus is on the Dolphins’ attack, though, to grab hold early this morning and never let go.

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