Titans set early target

2011-10-08 00:00

IN picture-perfect batting conditions the Dolphins bowled well in the late afternoon session to stop the Titans batsmen from scoring a considerable total.

Titans opening batsman Jacques Rudolph continued to press home the advantage that his side created yesterday at the Pietermaritzburg Oval. He finally succumbed on 118, falling to a ball that held up a bit. He was late into the shot and skied the ball to mid-on.

Farhaan Behardein came to the wicket after the loss of two early wickets in the morning session, scoring runs freely all over the park with poise and finesse.

Resuming the day on 20 for no loss, Rudolph and fellow opening batsman Tumelo Bodibe played cautiously in the early morning session as Robbie Frylinck and Kyle Abbott bowled a disciplined line and length.

Frylinck found Bodibe wanting outside his off-stump, but the slip fielders could not take advantage of a thick edge and dropped him on five. He came back well after that, making Bodibe play at almost every ball he bowled.

Spin bowler Keshav Maharaj was brought into the attack early and he gave a preview of what the pitch will look like on the third and fourth days. Pitching just off a length, Maharaj got a few balls to turn sharply while the others stayed low and skidded on to the batsman. Dane Paterson was introduced at the other end and the bowling change proved fruitful when he struck Bodibe on the back pad right in front of his wicket. Maharaj continued to trouble the batsman and bowled Henry Davids with a ball that kept low.

However, Rudolph never looked troubled and produced some sublime shots to bring up his 50 an hour before the lunch interval.

The pitch slowed considerably before lunch. So much so that Daryn Smit was forced to stand up to the wickets when Frylinck was bowling. In order to generate some advantage, Frylinck tried to mix things up and bowled off-cutters as opposed to full pace.

Rudolph and Behardein built a steady partnership bringing the Titans to 128/2 at lunch.

Some late afternoon heroics by Paterson and Maharaj put a hold on what would have otherwise been a mammoth total.

The Titans finished the day on 340/9, a lead of 97 runs. The Dolphins will be frustrated that they could not break a stubborn last wicket partnership between Heino Kuhn (75) and Ethy Mbhalati (10).

Star performers for the Dolphins today were Maharaj (3/135) and Paterson (3/73).

The Dolphins will want to knock over either Mbhalati or Kuhn early and then possibly bat through to lunch without losing a wicket.

SCOREBOARD

Toss: Dolphins

Dolphins first innings 243

Titans first innings

T Bodibe lbw Paterson 10

J Rudolph c Khan b Frylinck 118

H Davis b Maharaj 5

F Behardien c Alma b Paterson 74

M van Jaarsveld lbw Paterson 1

H Kuhn not out 75

S von Berg c Smit b Maharaj 7

C de Villiers lbw Abbott 0

M Morkel (run out Abbott/Amla) 20

P Harris c Frylinck b Maharaj 13

E Mbhalati not out 10

Extras (2b, 1lb, 4w) 7

Total (102 overs, 9 wkts) 340

Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-64, 3-203, 4-211, 5-212, 6-232, 7-233, 8-270, 9-284

Bowling: Abbott 21-2-65-1, Frylinck 21-5-52-1 (1w), Maharaj 38-4-135-3, Paterson 20-1-73-3 (1w), Khan 2-0-12-0 — Sapa.

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