Rain-hit clash ends with Knights still at the crease

2011-03-26 00:00

A FRUSTRATING, rain-plagued second day’s play ended with the Knights of Bloemfontein still at the crease with the total on 428 for six in the SuperSport Series match at the Maritzburg Oval yesterday.

At least the Knights had some solid batting and Obus Pienaar’s second century at first-class level to savour but for the Dolphins it was a day to forget.

Resuming on 237 for three after with Ryan Bailey on 46 and Pienaar 31, the Knights were in a sound position but the Dolphins made it so much easier by grassing an opportunity at slip off leg-spinner Abdul Razak and then another at backward point off debutant opening bowler Brady Barends.

These setbacks in the first half-hour, the day’s play having started at 9 am in order to make up some of the overs lost on day one, set the tone for the Dolphins’ day. Bailey was the fortunate batsman on both occasions and apart from those false shots, he and Pienaar scored freely all around the ground with a high percentage of boundaries as the bowlers gave them too much width.

The first 10 overs realised 58 runs. And the inability of the bowlers to stem the run tide in the 15 overs leading up to the new ball, in which 73 runs were scored for the loss of one wicket, allowed the Knights’ batters to settle into their roles and thereafter made it doubly difficult for the Dolphins’ new ball exponents, Jon Kent and Keagan Eccles, to make the breakthrough.

Bailey eventually fell for 80 (113 balls, 12 fours) and together with Pienaar, added 134 for the fourth wicket. Kent made the batsmen play and miss on occasion, while Eccles was again the pick of the attack.

Pienaar (21) reached his ton with a lofted on-drive off the left-arm orthodox Keshav Maharaj and his mature innings of 119 (166 balls, 13 fours, three sixes) showcased exemplary shot selection.

When the sky cleared at 11.25 am, players took an early lunch and then came back on for a while, but the action didn’t last long and with just 49 overs bowled in the day it was all a trifle disappointing for everyone.

SCOREBOARD

Knights first innings

R Hendricks b Eccles 61

D Elgar c Miller b Barends 74

R Rossouw c Conway b Khan 21

R Bailey c Smit b Van Jaarsveld 80

O Pienaar c Van Jaarsveld b Razak 119

A McLaren c Smit b Maharaj 23

R McLaren not out 20

C Pietersen not out 17

Extras (b3, lb5, w2, nb3) 13

Total (6 wickets, 115 overs) 428

Fall of wickets: 1-106, 2-139, 3-174, 4-308, 5-351, 6-405

Bowling: Barends 18-1-89-1, Eccles 28-6-70-1, Kent 21-2-76-0, Razak 20-3-80-1, Maharaj 21-4-80-1, Khan 4-1-14-1, Van Jaarsveld 3-0-11-1.

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