Friendly: Oval fortune smiles on batsmen as they rack up the runs in clash between Dolphins and Cobras

2010-09-15 00:00

THE batsmen continued their harvest on day two of the four-day friendly between the Dolphins and Cape Cobras in Maritzburg yesterday.

Responding to the Dolphins’ 440 for five declared, the Cobras were 306 for three at the close of play, with openers Andrew Puttick and Alistair Gray having accumulated 250 for the first wicket.

In a bid not to aggravate a niggle, Dolphins paceman Quinton Friend was forced to withdraw from the attack after just six overs, but Puttick (146) and Gray (96) batted with an assurance that would have pleased coach Richard Pybus.

Earlier, Dolphins captain Imraan Khan had moved from 190 overnight to 211 when he declared. Khan’s seven-hour knock brought a smile to coach Graham Ford’s dial.

“I am delighted with how well Immy played; he handled a tough pe­riod on Monday morning and deserves his success after working so hard during the winter.”

Ford said Puttick is a class act. “In this format of the game he’s one of the best in the business and a great example for young players.”

Gray also came in for praise from the former Proteas coach. “He has a tight defence and strong mind.”

The extreme heat has played its part in tilting the balance in favour of the batsmen.

“I don’t think the groundsman could have left any more grass on the wicket. It’s a good practice wicket for the type of outing both sides want,” Ford said.

The renowned movement through the air and off the pitch so common to mornings at the Oval might well have livened things up for the leather flingers, but as Ford said, “We haven’t seen a cloud in the sky for two days”.

And how Kevin Pietersen would love the status quo to remain at Pietermaritzburg’s landmark cricket ground when he turns out for the Dolphins early next month.

An average 93 runs per wicket is the kind of odds a batsman intent on playing himself back into Ashes form likes.

SCOREBOARD

Dolphins first innings 440/5 dec in 101.5 ov (I Khan 211*, L Bosman 57, A Amla 63, D Miller 57)

Cobras first innings

A Gray c Miller b Maharaj96

A Puttick c Friend b Maharaj146

S van Zyl not out22

J Ontong run out (Miller/Smit)9

R Levi not out17

Extras (b2, lb7, nb6, w1)16

TOTAL (for 3 in 85 ov)306

Fow: 1/250, 2/256, 3/273

Bowling: Friend 6-1-16-0, Shezi 11-1-57-0, Abbott 10.5-5-16-0, Whatmore 13.1-1-44-0, Conway 12-1-40-0, Maharaj 29-3-108-2, Moses 3-0-16-0.

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