Dolphins live up to pre-season tough talk

2012-09-14 00:00

IT might be only a practice match, but the Dolphins looked energetic in the field and played with purpose on the first day of the pre-season three-day friendly against the Cape Cobras at Kingsmead yesterday.

Under cloudy skies with the sun peeking through intermittently, visting skipper Rory Kleinveldt won the toss and opted for first dig on a pitch that offered something to batsmen and bowlers alike.

It was the bowlers who struck first to soften up the Cobras.

Dolphins pacemen Kyle Abbott, Mthokozisi Shezi and Rob Frylinck picked up an early opener in Alistair Gray (1), followed soon after by Stiaan van Zyl and Yaseen Vallie, both out for ducks.

Reeling at 8/3 and 29/4 after Justin Kemp was sent packing for 13, it was left to Andrew Puttick (33) and Qaasim Adams to repair the damage with a partnership of 60.

Puttick departed before lunch, which saw the Cobras battle to 100/5 after 36 overs.

Abbott and Shezi had each picked up a brace, with Frylinck grabbing the other.

After lunch, Dane Vilas (23) and Qaasim Adams, who was last man out with an entertaining 68 that included some classy, booming cover drives, staged partial resistance with a partnership of 39.

However, the Dolphins bowlers stuck to the task, bowling a tight line and length, extracting good pace and bounce from the pitch.

The Cobras were knocked over for 158 in 53.3 overs, the lower order quickly dispatched as Abbott finished with 4/34 in 12 overs and Frylinck 3/31 in 11.3 overs.

New signing Craig Alexander from the Lions looked sharp and although he only took a single wicket, peppered the Cobras batsmen with some attacking short balls that kept them on the defensive.

Off-break bowler Prenelan Subrayen turned his arm for 10 overs, yielding 30 runs without a wicket.

In the gathering gloom, Divan van Wyk and Imraan Khan started the Dolphins innings, posting 11 before Khan was dismissed for a scratchy three.

This bought Jonathan Vandiar, another signing from the Lions, to the wicket, where Cobras bowlers Kleinveldt and Johan Louw were maintaining a tricky line and length.

Van Wyk (eight) never looked comfortable and at 17/2, the Cobras effort didn’t seem too bad.

Bad light and drizzle brought proceedings to an end just after 3.30 pm, the Dolphins on 36/2 from 14 overs with Vandiar on eight and Vaughn van Jaarsveld on nine.

Restricting the visitors to well under 200 and batting before the close was just what Dolphins coach Lance Klusener and skipper Daryn Smit would have wanted.

Pre-season talk, especially by Klusener, has been to get the Dolphins more aggressive and competitive.

Yesterday’s performance paints a positive picture, especially for the opening four-day Sunfoil Series encounter against the Lions at the Wanderers starting on 27 September.

It’s early days, but solidity and consolidation at the top of the order is what the Dolphins will be working on.

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