Govender: Takes five-wicket haul

2008-09-24 00:00

IT took two hours of mayhem on day two to turn the three-day match between the Dolphins line-up and an Inland/Coastal combination upside down at the Maritzburg Oval yesterday.

Having established an unexpected 88-run first-innings lead going into their second dig, captain Ross McMillan’s Inland/Coastal side had every reason to feel satisfied with their progress.

But the afternoon turned into a nightmare for the underdogs as Dolphins opening bowler Ugasen Govender in particular made Inland/Coastal’s second innings a progression of batsmen to and from the wicket.

Govender sent down nine overs and picked up five wickets for 16 as the Inland/Coastal innings folded for 60. He was largely backed up by Jon Kent (three for seven) as the pair harvested the last five wickets in nine overs.

Others to contribute were shock bowler Quinton Friend, who again bowled with pace and aggression up front, while left-arm seamer Saidi Mhlongo was steadiness and control personified.

The key to the Dolphins’ success was that the pressure never eased up on Inland/Coastal and the batsmen could find no way out from the four-pronged assault.

Contributing factors were poor shot selection in some cases, while the luck Inland/Coastal enjoyed to some extent in their excellent first-innings 290 for nine ran out this time round.

Those nick-offs that just went wide of catchers now found their mark. Six of them were pouched with assurance by new Dolphins recruit and wicketkeeper Bradley Barnes, while the athletic David Miller plucked one peach out of the sky at backward point.

The afternoon impetus that swung so markedly in the Dolphins’ direction could not have been predicted a few hours earlier, when they were tottering on 93 for six in their first innings and trailing Inland/Coastal by 197 runs.

In contrast to day one, the pitch did keep a little low on occasion, but there was little to enthuse about for Dolphins supporters as far as the manner of their top orders’ dismissals were concerned. That said, the Inland/Coastal attack was disciplined and determined to follow through on late Tuesday afternoon’s inroads into the Dolphins first innings when impressive quick-bowler Olly Humphries had dismissed the openers in his first over.

The tide began to turn in the Dolphins’ favour with three resolute lower-order partnerships, led by a composed Morné van Vuuren, who batted seven. Entering the fray at 66 for five, Van Vuuren curbed his attacking instincts to a degree and departed with the total on 161.

The best of the late-order batsmen was number nine, Keshav Maharaj. Calm and unhurried, Maharaj was decisive in his foot movement and exhibited a wide range of strokes in compiling 41 off 76 deliveries with six fours and a six.

Barnes and Friend also contributed, enabling the Dolphins to reach 202 for nine when captain Ahmed Amla rather surprisingly declared — a move which in hindsight turned out to be a masterstroke.

The Dolphins resume their second innings at 9.30 am today needing 139 to win with nine wickets intact.

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