Rain can’t save sorry Dolphins from Cobras’ bite

2011-01-24 00:00

THE KZN Dolphins were left to lick their wounds yesterday as the Cape Cobras beat the rain to complete a nine-wicket triumph in their SuperSport Series match at Kingsmead.

The Dolphins at least managed to avoid the embarrassment of an innings reversal, but the paltry target of 58 was never going to trouble the visitors.

Having wrapped up the last four wickets needed in the Dolphins’ second innings, the Cobras needed less than eight overs to knock off the required runs as they jumped to second on the table.

The heavy defeat was that much more disappointing considering where the Dolphins had been after the very first session of the match.

“When we had them 50-odd for four, I thought we had a really good chance to get on top,” coach Graham Ford reflected. “The guys are really down at the moment, but we must acknowledge that this was a pretty high-class outfit and they outplayed us,”he reasoned.

That first session aside, the men from Cape Town had a firm grip on proceedings, as captain Justin Kemp’s unbeaten century laid the platform for their bowlers to come hard at the Dolphins. “Their opening pair, Rory Kleinveldt and Vernon Philander, have become very good performers in franchise cricket,” Ford admitted.

“They certainly put us under pressure, and they put the ball in areas which made life very hard for us.”

The Cobras, having bowled out the Dolphins for a paltry 162 in their first innings, duly enforced the follow-on, with bad weather hovering around Durban. Philander ended the match with eight scalps, and he received excellent support from Kleinveldt and the evergreen Claude Henderson.

The Dolphins middle order, filled with talent and experience, must surely be disappointed at their exploits this weekend.

As well as the Cobras may have bowled, on a pitch that had some assistance for the seamers, the Dolphins didn’t nearly apply themselves in the same manner that Kemp and Justin Ontong had when the Cobras were in strife on day one.

It was also surprising to see the inexperienced duo of Devon Conway and Divan van Wyk both batting up the order, instead of perhaps being split to allow some of the pressure to be absorbed by the older heads.

These are tough times for the Dolphins, with a limited attack and a top-order that is finding life at this level a real challenge.

“Our results have been up and down this season, but that was always going to the case,” Ford said.

“The start of a new competition (Pro20 Series) may be just what the guys need, and we have a bit of time to play a few warm-up games to get ready.” The Dolphins play their first game next week against the Lions at the Wanderers, and will be looking to finish off a difficult season on a better note.

SCOREBOARD:

Cape Cobras first innings 360

Dolphins first innings 162

Dolphins second innings (following on)

D Conway st Canning b Henderson 35

I Khan c Kemp b Henderson 37

D van Wyk c Kemp b Henderson 11

A Amla lbw Philander 15

D Miller c Kemp b Philander 15

L Bosman c Van Zyl b Ontong 29

J Kent lbw b Kleinveldt 50

D Smit lbw b Philander 35

K Abbott c Canning b Philander 9

Q Friend c Kemp b Henderson 2

M Shezi not out 0

Extras (8lb, 5nb, 4b) 17

Total: (all out, 94.1 overs) 255

Bowling: Philander 20.1-3-49-4 (2nb), Kleinveldt 18-5-41-1, Ontong 17-4-41-1, Henderson 32-5-76-4, Hendricks 6-1-27-0 (3nb), Gray 1-0-9-0

Cape Cobras second innings

A Gray c Miller b Friend 15

A Puttick not out 32

S van Zyl not out 12

Extras (1b, 3nb) 4

Total: (for 1, 7.4 overs) 63

Bowling: Friend 4-0-23-1 (1nb), Abbott 3.4-0-39-0 (2nb)

Result: Cape Cobras won by nine wickets

Man of the match :Justin Kemp

Points: Cape Cobras 18.7, Dolphins 5.24

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