Maharaj’s spin a class act for the Dolphins

2017-01-26 06:01

TRUE to form, the Dolphins won the bonus point battle against the Lions in a Sunfoil Four-Day Series clash at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday as the sides settled for a draw in the only fixture of the weekend.

Set 262 to win on the final afternoon, the captains and umpires called it a day with the Lions 74-1 in their second innings after 31 overs. They went to tea on 49-1 and after a further 16 overs with no hope of the Lions mounting any challenge on the target, the clash was consigned to the history books.

With time lost on Friday and Saturday afternoon due to rain and bad light, the Dolphins were again blocked in their progress by the weather when they were ahead. Khaya Zondo’s superb 141* in the Dolphins first innings had enabled them to reach a respectable 339 all out on Friday morning, a more than decent effort on the unpredictable PMB strip.

Protea spinner Keshav Maharaj was the class act in the Dolphins bowling effort as he bagged 6-86 in a marathon 48.3 overs, his 13th five-wicket haul in first class cricket, as the rather pedestrian Lions were bowled out for 267 in 114.3 overs at a snail’s pace of 2,33 runs to the over.

Dominic Hendricks (78) and Kagiso Rapulana (52) were the best with the willow and Senuran Muthusamy continued to impress with his left-arm spin, claiming 2-59 in 21 overs.

With a lead of 72 going into the final day, the Dolphins started their second innings keen to score at a brisk pace to set a realistic target to somehow generate a result. They scored at 3,70 to the over in reaching 189-6, Zondo again the standout with 54.

In an effort to keep the scoreboard ticking, there were starts for Vaughn van Jaarsveld (25), Sibs Makhanya (27), skipper Morné van Wyk (28) and Maharaj (26*), while Makhanya and Zondo added 68 for the fourth wicket. Beuran Hendricks claimed 3-48 in nine overs, with Dwaine Pretorius and spinner Bjorn Fortuin getting a wicket each.

With no intent on chasing down the target the Lions­ again batted at under three to the over and after the early loss of Stephen Cook (10), who fell LBW to Maharaj in both innings, Rassie van der Dussen (38*) and Dominic Hendricks (19*) closed up shop and shared an unbroken second wicket stand of 46 in 21.1 overs.

The Dolphins took 6,78 points from the match and the Lions 5,58. This means the Dolphins are still top of the four-day standings, but they have a break this week and will be keeping a keen eye on what transpires when the other franchises play.

Scores in brief

Dolphins 339 (Zondo 141*, Van Jaarsveld 53; Pretorius 5-54) & 189-6 (Zondo 54; Beuran Hendricks 3-48)

Lions 267 (Dominic Hendricks 78, Rapulana 52; Maharaj 6-86) & 74-1 (Van der Dussen 38*).

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