PMB hopes to have some action

2013-11-02 00:00

TOMORROW should dawn bright and clear, allowing the Dolphins and Warriors to do battle in the Momentum One-Day Cup at Pietermaritzburg Oval.

Frequent downpours throughout this week has not deterred groundsman Jannie Vermaak and his staff in preparing what should be a pitch offering assistance to batsmen and bowlers.

“It’s the same strip, the middle one, we used for last Sunday’s match when the Dolphins and Lions played,” he said. “I think it’s a beautiful wicket and it’s hardly been used, only being played on for three hours last Sunday before rain came and spoilt proceedings.”

Tomorrow, the weather looks better, with a temperature of 25° C forecast with no rain.

“So many recent provincial games have been ruined by rain it will be a blessing to get a full day’s play and a fair result under our belt,” said Vermaak. “Great weather leads to more people through the gates as well and I encourage people to pop into the ground tomorrow and enjoy our cosy environment.”

Speaking to Weekend Witness from the Oval yesterday, Vermaak said there was another storm brewing but it should be the last say from the Gods of Thunder before tomorrow.

“We have had so much rain this week. It would be fair to say that every evening this week, there has been some rain,” he said. “A few days ago, there was a storm from nowhere. It suddenly arrived and dropped rain and hail on us. It’s enough now and time for the sun to have a say in the cricket.”

One thing the rain has done is nourish the outfield. “The outfield is lush and fast,” said Vermaak, and if last Sunday’s brief entertainment is anything to go by, both sides should enjoy good advantage with what’s on offer.

The Dolphins batted for three hours and captain Morné van Wyk and Cameron Delport swung the willow lustily, putting on 119 for the second wicket in double-quick time, giving an indication of a good batting wicket. The Lions’ quick bowlers battled initially and were severely punished, the scoring rate climbing to over eight an over.

It could all come down to the toss. Weekend Witness’s prediction would be to win the toss, have a bat and score beyond 250 while the sun shines and the pitch bakes. If the clouds gather in the afternoon, they could offer assistance to the bowlers and allow them to strike for the win.

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