No place to hide for Dolphins top order

2007-12-14 00:00

THERE was no place to hide for the KZN Dolphins top-order batsmen at Newlands yesterday as the Cape Cobras bundled them out for 210.

At least the Dolphins reached 200, for the first time in six SuperSport Series innings. When clouds settled on Table Mountain and the Cobras were offered the light by umpires Shaun George and Denis Smith, the team were 177 runs in arrears with nine wickets in hand.

Dolphins skipper Ahmed Amla won the toss and elected to bat, but the Dolphins top four could only manage 55 runs between them as Cobras captain Justin Kemp played a big role in their demise.

Quickie Monde Zondeki struck first, inducing Wayne Madsen to nick behind, where Kemp took a great catch at second slip. Fellow opening bowler Charl Langeveldt picked off Hashim Amla five overs later before a Kemp double whammy saw the Dolphins go to lunch at 63 for four.

Doug Watson and Jonathan Vandiar restored the Dolphins innings somewhat with a partnership of 50 before wicketkeeper Ryan Canning took four successive catches. In his unaccustomed middle-order role, Watson (47, 109 balls, six fours) then added a face-saving 46 with wicketkeeper Daren Smit that took the Dolphins away from a desperate 115 for seven.

Smit, at number nine, was helped by determined last man Quinton Friend in a 49-run association that saw an awful 161 for nine at least reach the 200-mark before the keeper fell for an enterprising 65 off 89 balls that included nine fours.

Langeveldt and Zondeki were the chief destroyers, with a little help from their captain and Rory Kleinveldt. In reply, the Cobras lost Con de Lange in their third over as the consistent Johann Louw forced a nick to second slip Imraan Khan for the 11th wicket to fall on day one.

Opener Andrew Puttick and first wicket Henry Davids batted nearly 12 overs before the gloom set in.

The seam quartet of Louw, Yusuf Abdullah, Liam Plunkett and Friend would do well to follow the lead of their opponents to keep the second-placed Dolphins in the game.

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