Dolphins struggling

2015-03-20 00:00

DESPITE the efforts of Dolphins stalwarts Morné van Wyk and Daryn Smit, the Durban boys are up against it going into the third day of the four-day match against the Lions at Kingsmead today.

At close of play yesterday, the home side were 229-8 in their first innings, a deficit of 166 with 16 runs still needed to avoid the follow-on.

Van Wyk (68) and Smit (49*) shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 116, rescuing the Dolphins from 101-5 shortly before the afternoon tea break. This in reply to the Lions’ 395 all out as they lost five wickets for 115 runs in yesterday’s first session, including first day centurion Temba Bavuma, who was the seventh man out for a polished 153 in 334 minutes from 217 balls.

Chris Morris, coming in at eight, scored a valuable 57, adding 56 for the ninth wicket with Kagiso Rabada (16), Smit picking up Morris’s wicket, the last to fall, to give him his 100th first class wicket in his 99th match.

“Not bad for a ’keeper,” said Smit. “I’ll take 100 wickets as I never thought I would reach the mark when I made my debut in 2004. I seem to be getting some big names out of late, Dean Elgar last week as well. Maybe Morné should bring me on earlier.”

For the Dolphins, Daryn Dupavillon finished with 4-72 in 22 overs and Matthew Pillans 3-90 in 31 overs. It was hard work for these bowlers who have carried the attack well in the past weeks and they were rightly exhausted “with nothing left in our legs” at lunch.

In reply to the Lions’ effort, the Dolphins faced an over before lunch, reaching 3-0. Soon after the break, Divan van Wyk departed for five and Imraan Khan, who looked comfortable and was hitting the ball out the middle of the bat, was joined by Daniel Sincuba. They added 33 before Khan was run out by millimetres after Rabada had followed through, picked up the ball and threw down the stumps as Sincuba called Khan for a quick single.

Sincuba played some entertaining strokes and, although he left the scene for 56 off just 68 balls, it was felt he could have pushed on having done the hard work. Khaya Zondo (3) was trapped by one that kept low and Cody Chetty (4) was out of sorts before touching to ’keeper Thami Tsolekile.

Morné van Wyk (68) settled early and punished anything short, reaching his third consecutive fifty from 55 balls and finding the perfect foil in Smit.

“Initially I just held up an end allowing Morné to play his natural game,” said Smit. “It was a vital partnership considering where we find ourselves.”

Van Wyk’s departure saw Calvin Savage (2) and Pillans (7) come and go in quick succession and avoiding the follow-on is first on the list for the Dolphins this morning. “That’s the main priority,” said Smit. “Those runs won’t be easy, but we have to get them to have any say in the game still. They only need a draw so we will have to bowl out our skins if we want something reasonable to chase tomorrow.”

Hero with the ball for the Lions was Dwaine Pretorius whose 5-34 in 17 overs, his maiden five-wicket haul in four-day cricket, saw him getting some useful late and reverse swing. He used the conditions well, his medium pace posing problems and asking regular questions.

At this stage of the game, after their first innings, the Lions have 4,48 bonus points and the Dolphins two.

Play starts today at 9 am and entry is free.

Scores in Brief

Lions 395 (Bavuma 153, Tsolekile 61, Morris 59; Dupavillon 4-72, Pillans 3-90)

Dolphins 229-8 (M Van Wyk 68, Sinccuba 56, Smit 49*; Pretorius 5-34)

Dolphins are 166 runs behind after day two.

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