bad light ends dolphins hopes

WHILE Stephen Cook was hogging the headlines with his record-breaking 390 in East London, the Dolphins returned home from Centurion disappointed that bad light prevented their chances of securing a much-needed victory in the SuperSport Series cricket competition.

WHILE Stephen Cook was hogging the headlines with his record-breaking 390 in East London, the Dolphins returned home from Centurion disappointed that bad light prevented their chances of securing a much-needed victory in the SuperSport Series cricket competition.

After trailing by 27 runs on the first innings against the Titans at Centurion, the Dolphins put in a tremendous effort to reach a victory target of 291 in 79 overs and needed a further 82 runs from 24 overs with six wickets in hand when players were forced off the field due to bad light, never to return.

Each Dolphins player contributed to their victory bid, Loots Bosman leading the way with his 53.

For the Titans, Morne Morkel took two vital wickets when he dismissed Bosman and Ahmed Amla and it was encouraging from a national perspective to see speedster Dale Steyn picking up four wickets in the Dolphins' first innings.

The SA star, however, proved to be a bit expensive in the second innings though he showed his pace by hitting 20-year-old Cameron Delport on the head after the young KwaZulu-Natal player had made a bright 36 off 32 balls. He was forced to retire and shortly thereafter the umpires decided it was too dark to continue.

Seamer Johann Louw had an excellent match for the visitors with 10 wickets for 99 runs and a knock of 37 in his only visit to the crease.

He put the Dolphins in a strong position when he dismissed Morne Morkel for 11 on Sunday morning to reduce them to 211 for eight and an overall lead of just 238. But Steyn and Paul Harris frustrated the Dolphins with a ninth-wicket stand of 52 that allowed the Titans to make the declaration at 263 for eight.

In East London, it was a completely different story and not a good advert for the four-day game as the batsmen completely dominated the bowlers over the four days. The Warriors, for whom Ashwell Prince made a timely return to form with 154, batted for the first two days, and the Highveld Lions batted for the last two days.

There must be some concern for national coach Mickey Arthur over fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, who hasn't hit his straps yet this season. In three matches, he has taken just two wickets, though he bowled with excellent economy this weekend, conceding 38 runs in 31 overs. With the four-day competition now taking a two-week break, the Titans (29,98 points) are fractionally ahead of the Warriors (29,56). But they'll be aware of the looming Diamond Eagles team. - Sapa

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