DEFIANT batting by the Chevrolet Warriors lower-order colleagues, Simon Harmer and Andrew Birch, and bad light denied the Sunfoil Dolphins what might have been their first Sunfoil Series victory of the season at Buffalo Park in East London on Sunday.
The match ended in a draw as the Warriors were hanging on for dear life on 205 for seven when bad light intervened to force the game into a stalemate. They still needed another 158 runs for victory.
The Dolphins scored 220 on Saturday to set the Warriors a target of 363 for a win.
The hosts were perilously close to defeat as Harmer and Birch joined forces on 146 for seven after lunch and batted for 99 minutes and faced 142 balls to prevent any further breakthroughs.
Harmer faced 132 deliveries and hit five fours in his undefeated 41. Birch faced 58 deliveries in his defiant 25.
The Dolphins might have felt that they were robbed by the bad light as Kyle Abbott captured 9-113 in the match and received excellent support from Craig Alexander and off-spinner Prenelan Subrayen.
They had the Warriors close to the edge, but could not finish them off, as Harmer and Birch, and later the bad light, intervened.
Abbott’s heroics with the ball go a long way to explain why the Warriors could not build on the excellent win in their previous round of Sunfoil Series matches against the Nashua Titans. He blew them away with a devastating spell after lunch on Friday when they collapsed and lost 7 wickets for 52 runs. Abbott took 6-64 and gave the Dolphins a first-innings cushion of 142 runs.
Davy Jacobs and Ashwell Prince resumed on 52 for two on Sunday. Their immediate task was to save the match, but if they could occupy the crease for a session, they might have been tempted to pursue a win. Jacobs was the first to go when he edged Subrayen to the wicketkeeper, Daryn Smit, in the seventh over of the day. He scored 26, faced 53 balls and stroked three fours and a six.
Prince was defeated by a good out-swinger by Craig Alexander and caught behind for 18, reducing the Warriors to 78 for four.
Kelly Smuts was then caught behind by Smit off Kyle Abbott for nine.
The Warriors failed to rotate the strike or to build partnerships in overcast conditions as the bowling attack held sway. Athenkosi Dyili looked to break this pattern and smashed three fours before he was trapped in front by Subrayen for fourteen, as the Warriors slipped to 123 for six.
Colin Ingram became Abbott’s ninth victim of the match when he was caught behind for 31. Ingram faced104 balls and slammed three fours. Abbott captured 3-49 in 28.3 overs in the second innings. Alexander took 2-37 in thirteen overs, while Subrayen claimed 2-90 in thirty overs.
The Dolphins claimed 7.92 bonus points (four for bowling and 3.92 for batting). The Warriors finished with 5.08 (four for bowling and 1.08 for batting).
Chevrolet Warriors: Davy Jacobs (capt), Michael Price, JJ Smuts, Ashwell Prince, Colin Ingram, Kelly Smuts, Athenkosi Dyili, Simon Harmer, Andrew Birch, Basheer Walters, Gurshwin Rabie.
Sunfoil Dolphins: Daryn Smit (capt), Imraan Khan, Divan van Wyk, Jonathan Vandiar, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, David Miller, Cody Chetty, Prenelan Subrayen, Dane Paterson, Kyle Abbott, Craig Alexander.