Warriors duo save the day

2008-10-30 00:00

THANKS to a sixth-wicket partnership of 131, the Eastern Cape Warriors emerged from day one of the SuperSport Series match against the KZN Dolphins with honour intact at Kingsmead yesterday.

At the close, with 13 of the day’s 96 overs lost to the inevitable bad light that plagues cricket in Durban, the Warriors’ first innings had realised 281 runs for seven wickets and a run rate of 3.39 to the over.

Teetering at a shaky 136 for five, the Warriors’ first innings was endorsing Dolphins captain Ahmed Amla’s decision to field. Until, that is, Warriors skipper Davy Jacobs and Justin Kreusch began a middle-order renaissance.

That 74 from the attacking Jacobs in three hours — off 99 balls and including seven fours and a six — and Kreusch’s 72 in just under three hours, off 144 deliveries that yielded nine boundaries and a six, was the rescue act the Warriors needed to stay in the match.

Earlier, the Dolphins had done well to get the Warriors into that shaky position, but at the same time they fought back to get Jacobs and Kreusch towards the end.

The Dolphins omitted left-arm fast-medium bowler Yusuf Abdullah from their squad of 12, and his obvious replacement — seeing that one of the seamers was going to sit out — the left-arm, medium-fast Saidi Mlongo, justified his inclusion with two for 40.

The Warriors left out Wayne Parnell from their 12-man squad.

All-rounder Jon Kent, an in-form man this season, returned two for 35, while Ugasen Govender, who opened the bowling with Quinton Friend in Abdullah’s absence, got two for 74 and Friend one for 56.

The pair who interchange behind the stumps, Daryn Smit and Pierre de Bruyn, had contrasting fortunes with De Bruyn’s unusual action probably helping in his medium-pacers going for very little while Smit’s leg-spinners were collared at times.

Of the Warriors’ other batsmen, opener Jon-Jon Smuts hit a measured 50 off 103 deliveries with eight fours and shared in a vital 62-run fourth-wicket partnership with Ashwell Prince when the visitors were on an awkward 48 for three. Prince took 23 balls to get off the mark, but ended with a solid 48.

The fact that they didn’t finish the Warriors’ first innings off when they had them on the ropes in this fourth-round encounter is a concern for the Dolphins as they seek to break out from their three draws in three matches.

SCOREBOARD

Warriors 1st innings

M Smith c Smit b Govender 1

J Smuts c Khan b Mlongo 50

Z de Bruyn b Kent 15

A Jacobs c Smit b Kent 0

A Prince c Smit b Mlongo 48

D Jacobs c Gobind b Govender 74

J Kreusch c Gobind b Friend 72

R Peterson not out 6

J Theron not out 0

Extras (lb6, w7, nb2) 15

Total (7 wickets, 82.5 overs) 281

Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-46, 3-48, 4-110, 5-136, 6-267, 7-281.

Bowling: Friend 16.5-3-56-1, Govender 17-3-74-2, Kent 13-3-35-2, Mlongo 14-3-40-2, De Bruyn 10-1-17-0, Smit 12-0-53-0.

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