Dolphins look to wrap it up after delighting in late strikes

2010-10-09 00:00

THEIR opponents may be holed up in the local casino, but it was the Dolphins who held all the aces midway through their SuperSport Series match against the Warriors at the PMB Oval yesterday.

Resuming on a healthy 328 for three overnight, the Dolphins eventually declared their innings on 500 for six before tea.

That they “only” added 172 runs owed to a much improved showing with the ball by the visitors.

Led and cajoled by the boundless energy of Makhaya Ntini, the EP franchise hit their straps and got right up the noses of the Dolphins’ middle order in the morning session.

Imraan Khan, who sailed serenely to 161 on the first day, found the middle a good deal less comfortable as Ntini and company enjoyed extra zip on a pitch that had baked in Thursday’s heat.

Khan could have departed as early as the first over, as Ntini located his edge with the third ball of the day.

Much to the Protea legend’s dismay, the chance was grassed, but the Warriors didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough.

Softened up by several blows from Ntini, Khan shouldered arms to the lively Andrew Birch and was given leg-before for a well-played 169.

Ahmed Amla, resuming on 79, was also given the “chin music”, as the Warriors fought back.

Amla reached his 12th first-class century, but fell soon after as he was also trapped in front by a busy Birch.

Jon Kent (49) and Daryn Smit (56 not out), then added 87 to steady the ship before lunch.

Kent then became the fifth lbw candidate out of six wickets, though the way the ball shot through would have encouraged the home side.

The declaration came after a few lusty Kyle Abbot bunts, and the Dolphins had just enough time to steal the honours.

Quinton Friend hit the mark immediately, beating Bevan Bennett with his first ball, and then locating his toe with the next to have the Warriors 0/1.

A curious interval of play-on/play-off/play-on then ensued, and the Warriors must be livid that they had Jon-Jon Smuts caught down the leg-side by Smit off Friend during the madness.

At two for two, and with an almost brand- new ball to deal with, Ashwell Prince and his side have it all to do this morning.

After Thursday’s glorious weather, it was back to the same old muck yesterday.

The early finish at least allowed several local patrons to collect autographs and pictures from the fair sprinkling of stars on display at the Oval.

Play starts at 9 am today.

SCOREBOARD

Toss: Warriors

Dolphins first innings (overnight 328/3)

I Khan lbw Birch 169

D van Wyk lbw b Birch 3

B Moses lbw b Ntini 26

K Pietersen c Birch b Smuts 36

A Amla lbw b Birch 102

D Smit not out 56

J Kent lbw b Kreusch 49

K Abbott not out 24

Extras (10b, 7lb, 8w, 10nb) 35

Total (for 6 decl.) 500

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-79, 3-159, 4-357, 5-368, 6-455

Bowling: Ntini 26-8-65-1, Birch 30-7-96-3, Walters 25-7-67-0, Meyer 20-2-78-0, Smuts 37-5-139-1, Kreusch 15-3-38-1

Warriors first innings

B Bennett lbw b Friend 0

J Smuts c Smit b Friend 0

M Smith not out 1

A Prince not out 0

Extras (1nb) 1

Total (for 2, 3 overs) 2

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-2

Bowling: Quinton Friend 2-1-1-2, Mthokozisi Shezi 1-0-1-0

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