Rain wins the day in Dolphins clash

2008-10-06 00:00

HEAVY rain over Durban on Saturday night ensured a waterlogged field and no play possible at Kingsmead on the final day yesterday, which left an intriguing SuperSport Series match drawn.

A total of 96 overs were lost on days two and three after a remarkable full day’s play on Thursday — a scene seldom seen at Kingsmead.

The highlight of the match was the drama on day two when the Titans’ leg-spinner Imran Tahir ripped the Dolphins apart before and after lunch in a spell that totalled five for 22 in 9.3 overs.

It is sad, from a Dolphins point of view, that Tahir — married to a South African woman from Isipingo — was keen to settle in Durban at the beginning of the 2007/8 season and approached the local franchise for a job. Having been turned down, though, he pitched his wares to the Titans and the rest is history.

Another highlight, apart from the Dolphins’ disciplined bowling attack, was the fightback by Jon Kent and Pierre de Bruyn.

At 78 for five and Tahir absolutely rampant, the Dolphins were staring a catastrophe in the face, but a crucial dropped catch off the Pakistani at silly mid-off when De Bruyn was on one could have ended the 157-run partnership before it began.

Tahir’s dismissal of five top-order batsmen before anyone else got a pole in an impressive attack that included Morne Morkel, Paul Harris, Ethy Mbhalati and Pierre Joubert, is surely a first in SA first-class cricket.

From 78 for five, Kent (91, 9x4, 1x6) and De Bruyn (73, 7x4) took the Dolphins to 292 and a first-innings lead of 81.

De Bruyn’s effort was arguably a personal triumph from another standpoint, too, when one considers he and Alfonso Thomas infuriated Titans management by criticising the coaching methods of Richard Pybus, claiming his insistence on yoga and the like was a waste of time — a brickbat that induced CEO Elize Lombard to threaten legal action.

Those concerned that Morkel did not take a wicket in 28 overs will be relieved by the general consensus that he was unlucky not to pick up several sticks.

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