March 9, 2001

Rhodes leads the way for Dolphins

Craig Ray - MWP

After a late start due to rain KwaZulu-Natal posted 250 for six on the first day of their three-day Supersport Series Shield match against the Highveld Strikers in Durban on Friday.

Lead by a fluid 73 not out from former Test star Jonty Rhodes and a balanced 64 from promising young batsman Ashraf Mall, the Dolphins ensured that this match might still produce a result because of positive batting.

Mall was unlucky to be run out just as he was hitting his straps with four consecutive fours off of right-arm fast medium bowler Johnson Mafa.

In a mix-up with Rhodes, Mall was stranded halfway down the pitch and a quick throw from Adam Bacher to wicketkeeper Nic Pothas ended his knock.

Rhodes, with years of experience, was unfazed and continued to bat with assurity that would still see him in the Test side if he so wished.

The gritty right-hander ended the day well set to progress to a century which would set his team up for a useful total in the match that will require quick runs if a result is to be achieved.

Earlier openers Mark Bruyns and Doug Watson failed to take full advantage of easy batting conditions. Watson scored just three before being trapped leg before by Mafa.

Bruyns scored 31 in a 60-run stand with Mall, but became the first run out victim of Bacher who was like a mongoose in the field.

Captain Dale Benkenstein scored 20 before being caught at wide mid-on by Brendan Horan off Mafa which brought Rhodes to the crease.

After the dismissal of Mall, Errol Stewart and Goolam Bodi were unable to establish themselves and were dismissed for 10 and 12 respectively.

That brought the in-form Wade Wingfield to the crease and he saw play through to stumps with Rhodes and ended on 25 not out.