Run glut slows to a dawdle

2008-10-12 00:00

THE high-scoring SuperSport Series match between the KZN Dolphins and Highveld Lions at Kingsmead ended quietly yesterday.

The Lions scored 379 for seven in reply to the Dolphins’ first-innings 459 for five.

The Dolphins’ second innings produced 266 for five and the Lions got in 41 overs’ batting practice when set 347 to win in only 56 overs to end 121 for two as play was called off with an hour left.

The batsmen dominated to the extent that the match as a contest flickered, never caught alight. Over 1 200 runs were scored over four days for the loss of 19 wickets — that’s 60-plus runs per wicket for about five wickets per day.

It would have taken near-suicide declarations to manufacture a result.

Batting milestones were many as the sunshine ensured the wicket got better every hour.

Highlights were back-to-back centuries from Imraan Khan (his 103-run second knock off 202 balls with 14 fours) and the maiden first-class ton of left-handed teenager Jonathan Vandiar —what’s more an unbeaten 172 (314 minutes, 225 balls, 28 fours).

DHS product and SA U19 captain Vandiar was gobbled up by the grateful Lions after the Dolphins inexplicably failed to retain one of their most promising players.

With 81 for four in the third over and the Lions 378 behind on the first innings, the Dolphins had a right to feel the match could be theirs. The change came when Vandiar joined Neil McKenzie at the crease. The pair put on 170 for the fifth wicket.

The rescue act hiccupped when Alviro Petersen went first ball, before wicketkeeper Matthew Harris scored one in a partnership of 40 with Vandiar.

Then it was Cliffie Deacon who helped add 88 to keep the Lions in with a chance when he declared at 379 for seven.

The Dolphins dropped four catches, which didn’t help.

The Dolphins took 7.42 points from the match to the Lions’ 5.56 with the Player of the Match award unsurprisingly shared between Khan and Vandiar.

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