Oval clash called off after more heavy rain

2012-10-22 00:00

AS umpires Brad White and Karl Hurter took players from the field due to bad light on Friday afternoon, one hoped it would not be the last bit of play in the four-day Sunfoil clash between the Dolphins and Cobras at Pietermaritzburg Oval.

At that stage, the Cobras had started to knuckle down in their first innings and were on 66 without loss, Alistair Gray on 40 with nine fours and Andrew Puttick on 18, replying to the Dolphins’ 310 all out reached earlier in the day when play did start on time at 9.00 am.

As the dark clouds thickened overhead, talk among the players was that this was the end of the match, despite two days still remaining.

With Saturday expected to be rained out and yesterday said to have more rain than sun, it wasn’t a far-fetched presumption.

Sadly, the prediction came true as the umpires called off play and abandoned the match early yesterday morning with no additional action having gone down.

Heavy rain on Friday night and persistent drizzle on Saturday put paid to the day’s play, but Mother Nature was still not satisfied, as she had yet to unleash her wrath for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday night brought heavy storms with rain pelting down and saturating the field.

Yesterday morning, Oval groundsman Jannie Vermaak checked the rain gauge to discover a whopping 81 mm had been dropped over the ground.

It was effectively game over, as overcast skies with no sign of the much-needed sun was a clear indication that even the most die-hard optimist had to admit defeat.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Dolphins hardly had any game time, but, in the time they did, it was encouraging to see a fighting spirit as they recovered on the first day from 30/4 to post a respectable 310 all out.

Although no batsman scored a century, Divan van Wyk with 95 and captain Daryn Smit with 94 played confidently and spent valuable time at the crease.

With ball in hand, the Dolphins bowlers, besides Kyle Abbott, looked a little perplexed on a pitch which saw anything short or full dispatched to the boundary.

For their efforts, the Dolphins earned 3.42 points from batting and the Cobras three for bowling.

This sees the Cobras at the top of the Sunfoil standings with 43.78 points from four matches with two wins and the Dolphins in third with 24 points from a loss, a draw and two abandoned matches.

This match concludes the first round of four-day matches for the Dolphins and focus shifts to the Momentum One-Day Cup (50 overs), with the Dolphins meeting the Cobras on November 4 at, yes — you’ve guessed it, Pietermaritzburg Oval.

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