Dolphins go down in thriller

2012-11-05 00:00

THE Dolphins finally enjoyed some game time at Pietermaritzburg Oval yesterday, meeting the Cobras in the first round of the Momentum One-Day Cup, but they went down by two wickets in an exciting contest.

Dolphins skipper Daryn Smit won the toss and opted for first dig on a lively track, which offered some assistance and swing for the bowlers early on. The loss of Cameron Delport (six) and Jonathan Vandiar (15) had the Dolphins tottering on 22-2 and the signs of a collapse were showing.

Leading from the front and coming in at the key number three, Smit combined with Vaughn van Jaarsveld for a 121-run partnership for the third wicket, taking the score to 143 and setting a platform for stroke makers David Miller and Robbie Frylinck.

Smit, who has grown in confidence as a batsman, ended on 64 (including five fours) and Van Jaarsveld, fresh from an unbeaten hundred for Crusaders last week, played with control and fluency for his 63 (seven fours).

Miller took the initiative toward the end of the innings, showing some of his remarkable talent to finish unbeaten on 68 (nine fours and one six) and sharing a quick-fire 50 partnership for the sixth wicket with Frylinck (17) from 31 balls with seven boundaries.

Finishing on 253-6 was competitive and something for the Dolphins bowlers to defend.

Aware of Richard Levi’s weakness for spin, Smit opened the bowling with off-breaker Prenelan Subrayen, while at the other end, Lonwabo Tsotsobe ran in on his Dolphins debut.

His left arm pace gave the attack good variation, and despite not having had much game time of late, he looked solid, maintaining a line and length questioning the batsmen on occasion. It was as a fielder though that he made his first telling contribution, picking up Levi (10) at short fine leg with a blinding catch as the batsman tried to pull the ball around the corner, to give Mthokozisi Shezi his first wicket.

Frylinck picked up Dane Vilas (four) caught behind by Smit, but it was the weather everyone was watching. The floodlights were switched on, but by the end of the 18th over, flashes of lightning saw umpires Johan Cloete and Shaun George order the players off the field.

The Cobras were on 76-2, with Andrew Puttick (39) and Stiaan Van Zyl (15) at the crease.

Returning after about 40 minutes, the Cobras’ target was reduced to 222 from 40 overs, 10 lost during the break. Van Zyl and Puttick stepped on the pedal, each hitting a six and bringing up the Cobras to 100 in the 21st over before Puttick (48) played one from Subrayen onto his stumps, ending a 59-run partnership with Van Zyl.

The latter followed soon after, caught by Smit after pushing forward for 43, giving Subrayen his second scalp. At 124-4 and needing a further 98 from 15 overs, it was definitely game on.

Yaseen Vallie (five) didn’t last long and Tsotsobe bagged his first wicket in Dolphins colours, trapping Cobras captain Justin Ontong leg-before for 33.

Justin Kemp (seven) was run out from Cody Chetty’s direct throw and the Dolphins had a sniff of victory, needing three wickets.

They only took one as Charl Langeveldt and Dane Piedt were the unlikely heroes for the Cobras, sharing an undefeated ninth wicket stand of 51 to seal victory.

Subrayen and Tsotsobe each took two wickets, the others shared between Shezi, Frylinck and Cameron Delport.

The Cobras took four points for their efforts, leaving the Dolphins to do it all against the Warriors at Kingsmead on Friday, November 9.

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