Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dolphins slither into semis : courtesy Sanath Jayasuriya

A night of frustration at a wet Kingsmead eventually finished happily for the Dolphins when they qualified for the MTN Domestic Championship semifinal courtesy of a tight five-wicket victory for the Cobras over the Warriors at Newlands

The Dolphins, who earned two points from last night's rained-out match against the Titans, now cannot be overtaken by the fifth-placed Warriors, who are six points behind with just Sunday's match between the two sides to be played in Port Elizabeth.

Even if the Warriors win with a bonus point, they will still finish a point behind the Dolphins who will now play the table-topping Eagles in the first semi on Friday next week.

On a night when play was interrupted three times by rain, the patient crowd of about 2 000 at last had the pleasure of seeing Sanath Jayasuriya at his best.

The 39-year-old Sri Lankan star has kept his powder dry this season, scoring only 71 runs in eight innings at an average of 8.87 before last night. But the force was finally with the destructive left-hander under lights when he smashed 58 in just 36 balls, including nine fours and two sixes.

Titans opening bowler, Basheeru-Deen Walters, will reflect ruefully on his three-over spell at the start of the Dolphins innings when he was brutally taken apart by the left-hander.

His first over went for 17, including a trademark square cut for six into the old West stand, while his third also went for 17

Some of Jayasuriya's boundaries were hit with all the tremendous power he exercised when he was in his pomp, particularly square of the wicket.

It was all too good to last, of course, and he eventually fell to left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe who achieved the remarkable feat of bowling five consecutive dot balls to him in the 11th over of the innings when the Dolphins had raced to 87.

The Sri Lankan, frustrated by the spinner's canny bowling, smashed the sixth delivery straight back to him and the jubilant Van der Merwe could hardly avoid the missile that buried itself in his hands.

Facing a rain-recalculated Titans' total of 172 in 33 overs, the Dolphins were still ahead of the run-rate when they reached 97-4 in 16.2 overs, despite Van der Merwe putting the brakes on the innings after Jayasuriya's departure.

But then the rain, which had already paid the ground two visits, returned with a vengeance and the match was abandoned 22 balls before it could be declared a legitimate game.

1 comment:

RUDRA said...

hope to see more barbaric destructive batting upcoming tour in Bangladesh

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