Rained out: Dolphins clash abandoned, again

2012-10-12 00:00

IT has happened again, and it’s becoming a stale joke as far as the Dolphins are concerned.

No prizes for guessing that the first day of their scheduled Sunfoil four-day clash against the Knights at Pietermaritzburg Oval was abandoned without a ball bowled yesterday due to an extremely soft and wet outfield.

Low clouds, mist and drizzle set up home early over the ground and, while players and officials remained optimistic, the weather tightened it’s grip and had the last laugh as the shutters were drawn and play called off.

It doesn’t look good for the remaining three days either, with another wet day predicted tomorrow, meaning the clash could turn into a two-day farce at best.

Looking ahead, the Dolphins are set to meet the Cobras at the same venue next Thursday for another four-day clash and yes, another wet spell is foreseen.

For the Knights, it’s more than frustration as they seem to be touring the country, taking their cricket kit with them as extra baggage. Their previous four-day match against the Cobras in Paarl was abandoned and now the first day in Pietermaritzburg.

Jannie Vermaak, groundsman at the oval, shook his head in frustration as he made another check on the rain gauge, drizzle beginning to fall as he tipped out the water.

“We can’t play on this. We have had plenty of rain and the ground is soaked. It’s so soft and would take so much damage if we tried to play. Best we can do is cover the pitch and hope for the best.”

Asked what sort of pitch he had prepared, Vermaak’s eyes sparkled at the prospect of some play being possible on what lay dormant under the green covers.

“This is a lovely pitch. It’s got grass on and is conducive to pace and bounce. Lance [Klusener] was more than happy when he had a look and said it was just what he had wanted. Even the Knights players liked the look of it and bowlers from both sides were licking their lips in anticipation of having a go on this strip,” he said.

Play is scheduled to start at 9 am today … weather permitting.

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