Dolphins bat themselves to a positive draw in PMB

Pietermaritzburg – The Hollywoodbets Dolphins managed to bat out the entire final day to draw their CSA 4-Day Franchise Series encounter with the WSB Cape Cobras in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.

It was going to be a big day for the hosts if they were to bat out for a morale boosting draw. From the outset the side looked to be in control as the openers Michael Erlank and Vaughn van Jaarsveld went unscathed for 21 overs at the start of the day.

Having put on their second consecutive century stand in the match it was Van Jaarsveld who fell first for 79, to go with his 120 that he made in the first innings – the Dolphins were 169 for one.

Erlank then went to his second consecutive half century, in only his second match for the franchise. He was bowled by Dane Piedt in the following over for a well-played 85 from 147 balls.

At this stage the Dolphins were 169 for two and trailing the Cobras by 44 runs when Marques Ackerman and captain Khaya Zondo came to the crease.

The rest of the day belonged to the pair who scored quickly throughout their innings as they erased the deficit and tried to put on a score that they might have been able to bowl at in the afternoon. However that wasn’t the case and the game was called a draw.

Ackerman continued his rich vein of form as he brought up his fourth score of 50 or more in just his fourth game for the franchise.

The left-hander finished on 89 not out off 128 balls which included 12 boundaries.

Captain Zondo was also in good form notching up his 26th First Class fifty. He also ended unbeaten on 88 off 137 balls with 11 boundaries.

Their partnership for the third wicket was worth 189 at a rate of four runs to the over.

The Dolphins finished the day on 358 for two.

Following their draw the Dolphins finished the 4-Day Franchise Series in fifth place.

The focus now shifts to the 50 over format with the Momentum One Day Cup starting for the Dolphins on Saturday 9 February with a clash with the bizhub Highveld Lions at the Pietermaritzburg Oval.

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