Weather halts Dolphins attack

2012-10-20 00:00

DARYN Smit and opener Divan van Wyk fell short of their centuries yesterday on a shortened second day of the Sunfoil Series four-day clash against the Cobras at Pietermaritzburg Oval as the home side took their overnight score of 179/5 to 310 all out in 108.3 overs.

Van Wyk moved from 82 to 95 before playing around one from Vernon Philander and having his stumps rearranged. He had been the anchor in the Dolphins innings, sharing a fifth wicket century stand with Cody Chetty and adding 83 with Smit for the sixth wicket. His innings included 14 fours and he was at the crease for more than five hours.

But the morning belonged to Smit, who found his rhythm and peppered the boundary boards with an array of sweet cover and lofted drives. He took his overnight score of 19 to 94 before Cobras keeper Dane Vilas whipped off the bails to have the Dolphins skipper stumped as he advanced down the wicket to leg-break bowler Alistair Gray. His knock included 16 fours and a six, the latter a smash over bowler Johan Louw’s head which took him (Smit) into the 90s.

For the Cobras, Rory Kleinveldt’s hard work saw him head for the pavilion with 5/54 to his name from 23.3 overs. It was the ideal confidence booster he needed before departing for Australia, although he makes a quick stop in Hong Kong for the Hong Kong Sixes tournament before the serious business starts Down Under. Philander bagged 2/59 in 21 overs and Louw 2/61 in 23 overs.

With the predicted dark clouds gathering after lunch, conditions looked ideal for the Dolphins pace attack to launch their assault. Kyle Abbott and Mthokozisi Shezi shared the new ball, but an early strike was not forthcoming on a strip which played slow and made bowling tricky. Cobras openers Gray and Andrew Puttick were quickly onto anything short, pulling through mid-wicket and driving full deliveries down the ground. Craig Alexander was particularly expensive, going for 28 in his four overs as Gray made merry and Smit was forced to introduce spinner Prenelan Subrayen in the 18th over.

Abbott looked the most effective of the bowlers, but two balls into his eighth over, the umpires took the players from the field due to bad light with the Cobras on 66 without loss, Gray on 40 with nine boundaries and Puttick on 18. Abbott had given away 12 runs in 7.2 overs, Shezi 25 in six and Subrayen a single in his only over.

Putting it mildly, frustration best describes the feeling in both camps although the break has given Smit time to rethink his bowlers’ plans of attack. Said Smit: “We have a plan but have not executed it at all. Kyle [Abbott] is bowling well from one end, but he needs more back-up from the other, where runs are flowing freely …”

This is the sixth scheduled day of play the Dolphins have had in the last week and not one full day has been played.

Last week, all four days were abandoned against the Knights and in this match, there was a late start on the first day and bad light yesterday. The forecast for the rest of the match looks bleak, with rain predicted all day today and even if the sun appears tomorrow, the field will battle to dry.

Umpires officially called off play for the day shortly after 3 pm.

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