Knights batters beat the bad light

2011-03-25 00:00

THE powerful batting line-up of the Chevrolet Knights flexed its muscles at the PMB Oval yesterday, as the visitors ended day one on a handy 237 for one when bad light stopped play.

The Free-Staters, led by Protea all-rounder Ryan McLaren, had won the toss and elected to bat under grey skies, but the Dolphins couldn’t get the crucial, early breakthrough they needed.

With an attack whittled by injuries, the Dolphins entrusted the new-ball to debutants Brady Barends and the impressive Keegan Eccles. While Barends found the edge on occasion — though these dropped short on a slow pitch — Eccles was particularly tidy, conceding just three in his first four overs.

Neither had the pace to really trouble the experienced duo of Reeza Hendricks (61) and Dean Elgar (74), though Eccles was unlucky to have Elgar shelled at second slip by Devon Conway on 14.

Once the Knights saw off the new-ball, things looked rather ominous for the youthful Dolphins, save for a steady spell by Jon Kent.

The spin duo of Abdul Haq Razak and Keshav Maharaj flattered to deceive, and both were guilty of bowling too many “release” balls — a cardinal sin at this level.

Eccles was finally rewarded for his endeavour when he bowled Hendricks on the stroke of lunch for his first first-class wicket.

The prodigiously talented Rilee Rossouw was surprisingly undone by skipper Imraan Khan, as he skied a catch to backward point to depart for 21.

Elgar passed yet another 50, but he then became Barends’ maiden franchise scalp for a fine 74.

But Ryan Bailey made a stylish, undefeated 46 and Obus Pienaar mixed patience with power as he made his way to an threatening 31 by the time the skies darkened.

SCOREBOARD AT THE CLOSE OF PLAY

Toss: Knights

Knights innings:

R Hendricks b Eccles 61

D Elgar c Miller b Barends 74

R Rossouw c Conway b Khan 21

R Bailey not out 46

A Pienaar not 31

Extras (1lb, 1w, 2nb) 4

TOTAL (for three wickets, 66 overs) 237

Fall of wickets: 1-106, 2-139, 3-174

Bowling: Barends 13-1-64-1 (2nb,1w), Eccles 20-5-47-1, Kent 15-2-46-0, Razak 9-0-35-0, Maharaj 5-0-30-0, Khan 4-1-14-1

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