Four-day: No time in the middle leaves KZN team frustrated in abandoned matchDolphins, Knights game washout

2012-10-15 00:00

NO toss, not a ball bowled and two days of sun. It sounds like a complicated maths formula, but it’s the story of the Dolphins’ four-day Sunfoil clash against the Knights at Pietermaritzburg which will be recorded in the history books as match abandoned.

On the first two days — Thursday and Friday — it was plain to see why play was called off as drizzle and low clouds kept the outfield wet and the pitch under cover most of the time.

Saturday and yesterday saw the sun come out but, with the pitch being wet and having sweated under the covers, the players had to bide their time and wait for the umpires to make their call.

Water had found its way onto the pitch on Wednesday night when heavy winds lifted the covers and exposed the match strip.

So much water had soaked into the pitch that two days of sun was nowhere near enough to dry it out and therefore the match was called off with both sides awarded five points.

Dolphins coach Lance Klusener could only reflect on the frustration of not even getting on the field.

Speaking to The Witness, he said: “It’s a pity we couldn’t get some time in the middle and focus on playing some cricket, no matter how short the time may have been.

“While frustrated we could not get the chance to keep our momentum going from our first two matches, we sympathise with the Knights who have now had two four-day matches abandoned without a ball bowled, losing a vital eight days of cricket.”

Asked whether allowing the covers to blow off was negligence by the Oval groundstaff, Klusener said: “Yes, I think so, but people must remember that the smaller grounds do not have the same resources as the major Test venues.

“At Kingsmead, we have everything needed to cope with adverse weather and the Pietermaritzburg folk do the best they can with what is available.

“It’s a risk we take playing at smaller grounds where coping with the dodgy weather is always a battle.”

He went on to say that starting the cricket season in early spring in Durban was always a gamble as the rainy season set in.

“We struggle down here on the coast, unlike up country where conditions are not as severe as far as rain goes.”

It’s another tense few days for the Dolphins this week in the lead up to their next four-day clash against the Cobras, also in Pietermaritzburg.

With a hint of sarcasm in his voice, Klusener said: “Well, the forecast for this week is worse than what it’s been and we can only remain the eternal optimists.”

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