Thank heavens it’s rugby season, after another disappointing Dolphins display

2010-02-11 00:00

RUGBY season is nigh upon us, and the Dolphins must be glad.

The glare of the public will shift down the road, and Imraan Khan’s charges can lick their wounds in private after yet another dismal dislpay.

Chasing 153 to win against the visiting Eagles last night, the home side made a whirlwind start with Loots Bosman and Imraan Khan rattling up an opening stand of 69 in eight overs.

But both openers then contrived to depart off successive balls, with Bosman’s brisk 38 ending when he skied Aubrey Swanepoel to midwicket.

Khan (30) got run out off the very next ball, and from there the Dolphins simply caved in.

It was in keeping with the most frustrating of seasons, and the head-scratching in the Dolphins change-room will only get more furious.

A team laden with experience and excitement, they have simply failed to entertain the hordes who dutifully return to the stands despite weekly disappointments.

Morne van Wyk had bludgeoned an entertaining 62 off just 43 balls, with his savage cuts peppering the point boundary. Few cut with as much brutality as the Eagles leader, and the Dolphins looked set to chase heavy leather until his departure.

The Eagles captain received handy support from Boeta Dippennaar (30), but the Eagles innings stuttered towards then end as the Dolphins bowlers finally found their lengths.

Johann Louw snared 3/27, and the Dolphins looked to have a fair chance.

The opening stand between Khan and Bosman had the crowd excited, but the Dolphins’ spectacular demise leaves them firmly rooted to the bottom of the standings.

Ahmed Amla toiled manfully with 43 from 35 balls, to continue his own fine season.

But he simply had no helping hand.

The Dolphins’ woes were summed up in a manic 18th over, where they contrived to lose three wickets in four balls, as Dillon du Preez feasted on the madness.

The Eagles have rekindled their interest in a semi-final slot and will be buoyed by a professional performance against a team desperately shallow on form and confidence. The home side were all out to the penultimate delivery, but the writing had been on the wall much earlier.

Despite having started their campaign with three home games, the Dolphins have only the points shared with the Titans in the rain-affected competition opener to show for a most disappointing campaign.

Truly, the return of the oval ball cannot come too soon for Durban.

The patrons need a diversion from the graveyard that Kingsmead is becoming.

It’s not that the Dolphins don’t look like winning at various stages. They raise hopes, and then fold more spectacularly than the time before.

They genuinely look like a team that have forgotten how to get over the line.


Toss: Eagles

Eagles innings

M van Wyk c Louw b Hall62

R Hendricks b Louw9

R Rossouw c Friend b Thomas6

R Bailey c Amla b Thomas7

H Dippenaar c Hall b Smit30

A McLaren c Smit b Friend2

J van der Wath b Louw6

D du Preez c Benkenstein b Louw5

A Swanepoel run out12

J Coetzee not out9

Extras (2lb, 2w)4

Total (9 wickets)152 - 20 overs

Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-42, 3-58, 4-107, 5-113, 6-119, 7-127, 8-135, 9-152

Bowling: Louw 4-0-27-3, Friend 4-0-27-1 (1w), Thomas 3-0-32-2, Hall 4-0-35-1 (1w), De Bruyn 2-0-14-0, Benkenstein 1-0-5-0, Smit 2-0-10-1


Dolphins innings

L Bosman c Rossouw b Swanepoel38

I Khan run out30

D Benkenstein c & b van Schalkwyk2

A Amla c Rossouw b van der Wath43

D Miller c Swanepoel b van der Wath8

P de Bruyn b Coetzee1

J Louw c Bailey b du Preez2

D Smit b du Preez4

A Hall b du Preez0

Q Friend c van Wyk b van der Wath8

A Thomas not out0

Extras (2w, 1nb)3

Total (10 wickets)139 - 19.5 overs

Fall of wickets: 1-69, 2-69, 3-86, 4-110, 5-115, 6-122, 7-126, 8-126, 9-139,10-139

Bowling: Van der Wath 3.5-0-27-3, Coetzee 4-0-31-1 (1w), Du Preez 4-0-24-3 (1nb), Van Schalkwyk 4-0-23-1, Swanepoel 4-0-34-1 (1w)

Result: Eagles won by 13 runs. — Sapa.

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