Dolphins, Knights clash ends in entertaining draw

Durban - After holding the cards for three of the four days, Dolphins settled for a draw following an exciting final session chase against the Knights in their 4-Day Franchise Series match at Kingsmead Stadium on Thursday.

The Dolphins headed into the final day needing eight Knights wickets in their second innings with 71 runs separating the two teams.

The Knights batted sensibly throughout the day as Andries Gous and captain Pite van Biljoen both registered half centuries and pushed the Knights into the red and close to safety.

Gous top scored for the visitors with 69 while Van Biljoen made 51. Shadley van Schalkwyk chipped in with a quick-fire 32 off just 22 balls while Shaun von Berg made a patient 21.

Prenelan Subrayen's 55 overs yielded another five-for. He finished with five for 147 while Okuhle Cele and Senuran Muthusamy picked up two wickets each.

In the chase the Dolphins showed their intentions early as Mangaliso Mosehle joined Sarel Erwee at the top of the order and the experiment worked to an extent.

Mosehle scored a brisk 30 off 25 balls in an opening stand of 43 as the Dolphins eyed the 152 that they needed to win in the final session.

Marques Ackerman continued the free scoring as he made 31 off 21 deliveries, however he fought a lone battle as Sibz Makhanya and Vaughn van Jaarsveld were dismissed for one.

The Dolphins were 89 for seven when the umpires took the players off the field for bad light and that is how the match ended.

Shaun von Berg bagged four for 27 in nine overs as the players shook hand at the end of an entertaining draw.

Despite the draw, captain of the Dolphins Marques Ackerman was happy with the effort of the side in the fourth innings.

"We had to make the play because we knew that light was going to be a factor," Ackerman said. "It was a great game from the side and I am happy that we showed the willingness to go for the win.

"I'm also really happy that the boys have taken our momentum from the last two weeks and continued it this week with some good individual performances with the bat and the ball."

Two wins and a draw from the three games in the new year is as close to perfect for the Dolphins and Ackerman is happy with how the team has changed their fortunes.

"The individual performances this year have meant that we can play well as a team and from Sarel's (Erwee) hundred, Prenelan's (Subrayen) nine wickets and Okuhle's (Cele) first first-class five wicket haul we have been good.

"We are excited for a quick break and then back at it in the one day competition. Every team is on zero points and it's a fresh start for all," Ackerman added.

- Gameplan Media