Tough first day for Dolphins at PMB Oval

2014-12-19 00:00

A HOT Pietermaritzburg sun, which saw the mercury rising comfortably beyond 30 degrees, saw the Dolphins toil for a full day and 95 overs on the first day of their four-day series clash against the Warriors at Pietermaritzburg Oval ­yesterday.

Clear blue skies greeted the players for the 9 am start and it was Warriors skipper Colin Ingram who called correctly and chose to bat. It was steamy out there and the cricket played was a real war of attrition. Mother Nature was merciless on the fielding side, with barely a breeze to unsettle the stifling air.

With a pitch prepared to aid the quicks up front and becoming conducive to spin on days three and four, the Dolphins went in with specialist leg-spinner Imran Tahir and right-arm spinner Thandi Tshabalala. Imraan Khan returned to the ranks and all-rounder Ryan McLaren made his ­debut for the coastal franchise. One day and T20 specialist Robbie Frylinck ­welcomed the opportunity to don his whites again and Daryn Dupavillon was left to carry the drinks.

It was tedious early on, the Warriors reaching 19-0 in the first hour as ­Dolphins’ opening bowlers Craig ­Alexander and McLaren looked for something to work with from the pitch. David White and Michael Price plodded to an opening stand of 46 in 18.5 overs before McLaren got the breakthrough, White edging a booming drive to keeper Morne van Wyk for 25.

JJ Smuts (11) gloved a rising Frylinck delivery to Divan van Wyk at slip and at 71-2, the Dolphins must have felt they had the edge. However, Ryan Bailey (26) and Price, who went on to a dogged 113, his ninth first-class century, before Tahir slipped one through his defences, added 67 in 26 overs for the third wicket, ­bringing up the 100 in 37.5 overs as the Dolphins toiled.

The afternoon sessions saw the Warriors up the run rate slightly, Alexander ­accounting for Bailey, only to see Ingram and Price add a further 83 for the fourth wicket in 21.5 overs. A few clouds moved in as the afternoon progressed, allowing a few shadows on the field, but it was a long hard day for the Dolphins.

The bowlers seemed to enjoy more life from the pitch bowling from the Maritzburg College end, Frylinck and Alexander getting the odd ball to bounce, rear, keep a tad low and beat the bat. Price dug in admirably, taking 226 balls for his innings, frustrating the bowlers for 327 minutes as he struck 16 fours and a six.

Somila Seyibokwe (0) was wrapped up by Tahir for his second wicket and at the close, the Warriors were on 290-5, Ingram finding his mark undefeated on 63 and Wayne Parnell on 32* in an unbroken 69-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Tahir (2-66) in 19 overs was the most successful Dolphins bowler, with ­McLaren, Alexander and Frylinck the other wicket-takers. Tshabalala sent down 18 overs for 73 runs with no return.

“It’s hard and tough, but that’s what this format of cricket is about,” said ­Dolphins coach Lance Klusener. “It’s good for the boys to be out there, having to dig deep and work hard for what they want.”

Play resumes at 9 am today and entry is free.

SCOREBOARD

Warriors first innings

ML Price b Imran Tahir113

DJ White c MN van Wyk b McLaren25

JT Smuts c DJ van Wyk b Frylinck11

RT Bailey c DJ van Wyk b Alexander26

CA Ingram not out63

S Seyibokwe b Imran Tahir0

WD Parnell not out32

Extras: (lb3, nb17)20

TOTAL: (for five wickets, 95 overs)290

Fall of wickets: 1-46 (White), 2-71 (Smuts), 3-138 (Bailey), 4-221 (Price), 5-221 (Seyibokwe)

Bowling: Alexander 17-3-34-1 (1nb), McLaren 19-3-76-1 (11nb), Frylinck 22-12-38-1, Imran Tahir 19-2-66-2 (1nb), Tshabalala 18-4-73-0 (4nb).

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