Grey day at the Oval for Dolphins

2009-03-15 00:00

IT is a real pity, but the Dolphins will think long and hard before they dare schedule another SuperSport Series fixture at the City Oval.

The ground itself looked infinitely better than the last time the Cobras were here, but the lifeless pitch is doing local cricket lovers few favours.

Several of the Dolphins players have already dubbed fixtures at the Oval as “just another away game”, so vastly different are the playing conditions to Kingsmead.

It is certainly something that needs to be worked on, as fans in these parts do at least come to the ground if there is quality fare on display.

In addition to the lifeless track, (hardly even turning by yesterday) is the further drawback of the light which fades fast hereabouts.

It was quite ironic, however, after three days curtailed by dodgy light, that the meaningless final day was played out in glorious sunshine.

By then, of course, the draw was already confirmed and it was merely a matter of playing to the official cut-off time before the handshakes took place.

Stiaan van Zyl (103 not out) and Alastair Gray (131) helped themselves to first-class centuries, and the only other siginificance from yesterday was the man of the match award.

Yusuf Abdulla sneaked it, simply because he toiled away manfully on a track that did bowlers few favours.

The Cobras, in no real hurry, ended on 300 for two in their second innings, all of 215 runs ahead - not that it mattered.

The Dolphins also won the scrap for bonus points, meaning that they are at least off the foot of the Supersport Series table.

All things considered, not much will be remembered about the last four days. The weather stole more than half a day’s play in total, and when there was some action, the admittedly limited bowling attacks from both sides found an unrelenting highway to bowl on.

It was almost just not cricket, really.

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