Sunfoil Series

Knights hold up Dolphins

2012-12-22 18:29
Imraan Khan (File)

Bloemfontein - Contrasting innings from Imraan Khan and Khaya Zondo gave the Dolphins something of a lifeline in their Sunfoil Series match against the Knights at Bloemfontein on Saturday. 

Innings of 90 from Khan and an unbeaten 53 from Zondo have seen the Sunfoil Dolphins survive the third day, but they still trail by 25 with only five wickets in hand going into the final day, leaving the home team overwhelming favourites to complete victory sooner rather than later in the day.

The day started with the Knights still occupying the crease.  Shadley van Schalkwyk was eventually the last to go for 80, made off 127 balls with 19 fours and a six, while Malusi Siboto was unbeaten on 41. They frustrated the Dolphins for another 10 overs, taking their partnership to 104 before Smit's catch in the outfield at last ended the innings. 

Kyle Abbott was unable to add to his tally of four wickets, and the final scalp went the way of another part-time bowler in Khan. Daryn Smit finished with two wickets in the not unaccustomed role of leg spinner. This completed a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the Knights, who had been in dire straits on the second day on 108 for six before Johan van der Wath led a remarkable recovery. From that position, 390 runs were added, turning a deficit of 113 into a lead of 277.

Although the Dolphins made a brisk start in their second innings, Siboto and Van der Wath made early strikes. Had Vaughn van Jaarsveld been caught on four as Rudi Second missed a chance behind the stumps the Dolphins would have been in deep trouble at 28/3, but Van Jaarsveld and Khan were able to fight back with a partnership of 104 either side of lunch. 

The former went for 40 and Khan followed on 90, made off 124 balls with 14 boundaries. That left the Dolphins still 122 runs behind with just six wickets in hand.

Zondo then dropped anchor. By the close he had reached 53 in a marathon innings of 151 balls. He took 137 balls to reach his half-century in contrast to Khan's 69. However, he was determined to give nothing away, and added 54 in 24 overs with Cody Chetty as the Dolphins slowly ate into the deficit. 

The partnership ended in unfortunate manner when Chetty played the ball to backward point and set off for the run. Zondo sent him back, but Chetty could not beat Werner Coetsee's accurate throw. Smit joined Zondo, and the pair saw off the last 18 overs of the day, adding another 43 runs.

Siboto was the best of the bowlers with 2-59, but was also the most expensive. Van der Wath and Van Schalkwyk followed their good batting with a wicket apiece.

Read more on:    knights  |  dolphins  |  sunfoil series  |  bloemfontein  |  cricket
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