Cobras can start afresh in T20s after Paarl draw

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The clash against the Dolphins at Boland Park ended in a tame draw, with the teams’ respective first-innings totals of well over 400 taking most of the time out of the game.

While the Dolphins were powered by Khaya Zondo’s 157 in amassing 478 by Friday afternoon, the Cobras had to claw their way back from a disastrous 22/4, with stand-in captain Justin Ontong scoring the first double hundred of his career with 225.

Handy contributions from Keegan Petersen (86) and Dane Piedt (61) effectively helped to save the game and avoided a fourth defeat in five matches as the Cobras were dismissed for 447 late on Saturday.

The Dolphins began Sunday in a spot of bother at 21/1, having lost nightwatchman Senuran Muthusamy for one the previous day, and their hopes of pulling off an unlikely victory received a timely boost in the very first over when Piedt bowled Imraan Khan for seven.

But left-hander Vaughn van Jaarsveld joined Daryn Smit in the middle, and their pair combined for a 64-run partnership for the third wicket.

Even when Van Jaarsveld perished to Dane Paterson for 30, recent Proteas ODI squad member Zondo continued his good form from the first innings. He showed great patience in putting together 57 not out off 110 balls (6x4), while Smit was the aggressor at the other end, hitting 14 boundaries in a sparkling 82 off 113 deliveries.

Zondo and captain Morné van Wyk kept the Cobras at bay until time was called mid-afternoon, with the Dolphins on 207/4.

Now it’s over to the T20 Challenge that starts with a double-header next Saturday at the Wanderers, and coach Paul Adams will be keen to start afresh when the Cobras take on the Knights in the opening game at 1.30pm, which is followed by the Lions against the Titans at 6pm.

Adams will have some serious reinforcements, with West Indian star Kieron Pollard returning for another stint with the Cape side, while the likes of Richard Levi and Rory Kleinveldt are likely to play more prominent roles in the shortest format of the game.

Proteas ODI all-rounder Wayne Parnell is also on the mend after a rib injury sustained while fielding against Australia at the Wanderers on October 2.

He was ruled out for between three and four weeks, so he could make his return this week.

– ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@ashfakmohamed

Original source: Cobras can start afresh in T20s after Paarl draw

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