Dolphins just fold limply — yet again

2010-03-26 00:00

IT’S been the longest of seasons and, sadly, it’s not over yet for the KZN Dolphins. Bundled out for 185, they then chased leather all over Kingsmead yesterday as the Lions sauntered their way to 131 for one by the end of play.

The Dolphins, having won the toss, made it safely to the first drinks break with 47 on the board, but from there the wheels tumbled off in a manner that is becoming far too common.

Bradley Barnes sought to pull Craig Alexander through mid-wicket, but only succeeded in scooping him straight to Stephen Cook.

Skipper Imraan Khan looked in good enough nick, but he was trapped in front by a determined Robbie Frylinck for 40.

Hashim Amla, back from injury, unfurled a few trademark drives before Zander de Bruyn got one to nip back and suddenly the Dolphins were 68 for three.

What remains a great source of frustration for Dolphins’ followers is not so much the struggle for success, but rather the limp manner in which the team has folded on so many occasions this term.

Against a decent but hardly predatory Lions attack — on a pitch bearing as many gremlins as a toddler’s bedtime story — the home side really ought to have made a far better fist of things yesterday.

After a solid start, the middle order crumble was deflating. Young wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi helped himself to two scalps on the stroke of lunch, leaving the Dolphins in tatters after just one session of this supposed four-day contest. At this rate, if we make it to tomorrow afternoon it will be some achievement.

David Miller tried to steady the sinking ship after lunch and his responsible 39 was just gaining momentum when he also wafted his wand at De Bruyn.

The subsequent demise of Khaya Zondo and Jon Kent, both to strokes that had little conviction, saw the home side in serious danger of not even chalking up 150.

Kyle Abbott offered some resistance, though, and his flowing 50 off 47 balls included a pulled six off De Bruyn. Quite when the Lions all-rounder thought he was quick enough to bounce people out, no one knows, but Abbott’s swat over square-leg brought him back to reality.

Sadly, though, it was a mere hold-up to the inevitable sinking of the Titanic, and the solo band that was Abbott could only play on for so long.

He was followed just a ball later by Kimeshin Chetty, leaving Alexander on a hat-trick when he next runs in to bowl.

The total of 185 was never enough, and coach Graham Ford bore witness to a grim afternoon as Stephen Cook and Alviro Petersen went about filling their boots.

It looked like they would bat all day, but Mthokozisi Shezi was rewarded for a steady spell with the scalp of Lions’ skipper Petersen.

The wicket itself was certainly surprising, as Petersen spooned Shezi to a grateful Hashim Amla at deep square-leg.

Petersen’s 50 was followed by Cook’s own half-century before the end of play.

Things look grim for the Dolphins, as former Durbanite Jonathan Vandiar looked totally at home in his brief stay last night. When one considers that Neil McKenzie, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and De Bruyn are also waiting their turn in the Lions’ shed, today could be a particularly chastening experience for the Dolphins.

They looked all at sea at times yesterday, and the danger of being swept away by a Lions run storm lingers in the Durban air.


Dolphins first innings

I Khan lbw b Frylinck40

BG Barnes c Cook b Alexander11

HM Amla lbw b de Bruyn12

AM Amla lbw b Shamsi15

DA Miller c Tsolekile b de Bruyn39

D Smit c Cook b Shamsi0

K Zondo c van Jaarsveld b de Bruyn9

JC Kent b de Bruyn0

KJ Abbott c Tsolekile b Alexander50

M Shezi not out1

K Chetty lbw b Alexander0

Extras(lb 2, w 1, nb 5)8

Total(all out; 57 overs)185

Fall of wickets: 1-47 2-66 3-68 4-99 5-103 6-123 7-123 8-144 9-185 10-185

Bowling: Deacon 12-4-27-0 (4nb), Frylinck 13-1-30-1, Alexander 9-3-34-3, De Bruyn 15-2-65-4 (1nb, 1w), Shamsi 8-4-27-2

Lions first innings

SC Cook not out51

AN Petersen c HM Amla b Shezi50

JD Vandiar not out16

Extras(lb 1, w 2, nb 11)14

Total(for 1; 33 overs)131

To bat: ND McKenzie, VB van Jaarsveld, Z de Bruyn, TL Tsolekile, WA Deacon, R Frylinck, CJ Alexander, T Shamsi

Fall of wickets: 1-104

Bowling: Abbott 8-1-28-0 (5nb), Shezi 9-1-22-1 (2nb, 1w), Chetty 8-1-36-0 (4nb, 1w), Kent 3-0-18-0, Smit 5-1-26-0

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