Dolphins meet Cobras in PMB next week

2007-11-20 00:00

Four points ahead are the Free State/Griquas Eagles, with the third-placed Eastern Cape Warriors nine points behind the Dolphins after four rounds of the 10-round competition. The Dolphins would be even closer to frontrunners the Eagles had they not been fined two log points for a slow over rate against the Bloemfontein-based side in the season opener at Kingsmead.

After a week's break, the fifth round sees the Dolphins meet the Western Cape Cobras at the Maritzburg Oval from Thursday, November 29, to Sunday, December 2.

Skipper Ahmed Amla continues to lead by example and his second SS Series century this season - against the Lions in Potchefstroom - ensures sixth place in the averages with 319 runs at 53.16, while opener Imraan Khan is the only other Dolphin to feature in the top 20, in 10th spot at an average of 45.83 per innings.

In-form Dolphins seamer Johann Louw lies in fifth place in the competition's bowling averages with 18 wickets at 21.38 runs per scalp. Jon Kent is in 11th place and Quinton Friend lies 14th.

The remarkable sight of Dolphins wicketkeeper Daryn Smit swopping his gloves for the ball again occurred in the Lions match. Smit's leg-spin prowess saw him bowl 22.3 overs in the Lions innings.

“He has taken the term ‘all-rounder' to a new level,” Amla told The Witness half in jest. “Seriously, it's useful to have Daryn's leg-spin as another bowling option at times and we encourage him to practise it in the nets.”

The dogged sixth-wicket partnership of 60 in the second innings between the inexperienced Wayne Madsen and 17-year-old DHS schoolboy Jonathan Vandiar, which also ate up precious time plus 27 overs when the Dolphins were staring an innings defeat in the face, confirmed Amla's claim that his youthful players have what it takes to be competitive at this level.

SS SERIES LOG

After four rounds: 1 Free State/Griquas Eagles 49.16 points; 2 KZN Dolphins 45.60 pts; 3 Eastern Cape Warriors 36.46 pts; 4 Western Cape Cobras and Highveld Lions 24.60 pts; 6 Northern Titans 22.40 pts.

* Dolphins docked two points for slow over rate against Eagles; 10 points for a win, first batting point when team reaches 150. Then 0.02 pts for each extra run within 100 overs. Bowling pts at three, five, seven and nine wickets within 100 overs.

Fifth round (from Nov 29): Dolphins vs Cobras (PMB); Eagles vs Warriors (Bloemfontein); Titans vs Lions (Centurion).

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