Warriors take control

2009-03-27 19:13

Port Elizabeth - The Chevrolet Warriors took full advantage of favourable batting conditions to assume command of their SuperSport Series cricket match against the Dolphins at Oval St George's on Friday.

At stumps on the second day, the Warriors had reached 141 for the loss of two wickets, an overall lead of 180.

Opener Jon-Jon Smuts and number three Arno Jacobs were the chief contributors to the total with Smuts finishing the day unbeaten on 58.

Jacobs was out for an attractive 64 runs, 30 minutes before the close, but not before the pair had put on 105 for the second wicket.

The overcast skies that were a feature on the opening day, gave way to bright sunshine on Friday morning. With that, the tough batting conditions, which saw 17 wickets fall on day one, became a distant memory.

It took the majority of the morning session for the Warriors to claim the remaining three Dolphins first innings wickets. They were eventually dismissed for 123 an over before lunch.

The rest of the day belonged to Jacobs and Smuts, albeit that their partnership got off to a cautious start. Once both players had settled, they played some delightful strokes when presented with the opportunity.

Smuts has yet to register a first-class hundred and that will be his first target when he resumes the innings with Zander de Bruyn (1) on Saturday.

Jacobs will be upset with manner in which he got out.

Dolphins wicketkeeper Daryn Smit, who twins as a leg-spinner in the field, removed his keeping pads in an effort to effect a breakthrough.

He came in for some punishment from both Smuts and Jacobs but he eventually got his man in his ninth over when Jacobs attempted a slog-sweep that found the safe hands of Ahmed Amla at square-leg.

It was a rather soft dismissal when he was once again looking like going on to reach three figures.

The Dolphins seamers never gave up despite receiving very little assistance from the conditions. But it's going to take a massive effort from them on the third day to rein in the Warriors batsmen.

Ashwell Prince is in next and he's in a rich vein of form and will be looking to make up for a bad shot in the first innings.

Earlier, the Dolphins, who were 51 for seven overnight and still 111 runs behind on the first innings, were aided by a fighting eight-wicket stand between wicketkeeper Daryn Smit and Vyash Gobind.

The stand produced 73 runs in 18.1 overs and ensured that Warriors only carried a lead of 39 into the second innings.

Smit was eventually out for 36 when he cut Andrew Birch to Craig Thyssen at point to give the Warriors seamer his first SuperSport Series wicket. Smit face 64 balls in a 104-minute stay at the crease and struck six fours.

Birch also accounted for Gobind when he had the lefthander caught behind by Davy Jacobs for 21.

Mario Olivier failed to add to his overnight wicket-tally and finished the innings with five for 38 from nine overs.