• Chetty staves off late threat to force draw

    Two wickets each by Thando Ntini and Dane Paterson gave the Dolphins an almighty fright before Cody Chetty’s unbeaten half-century helped salvage a draw with the Cape Cobras on the final day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.

    There was also a career-best, first-class innings from Matthew Kleinveldt and more impressive form by rising young star Kyle Verreynne as the visitors largely dominated day four at the City Oval.

    They started by amassing 491 – an innings lead of 161 – and then ended it by doing everything to try to force the victory.

    The Cape side had their opponents on the ropes at 81-5, trailing by 80 and with more than 40 overs still go, before Chetty saved them with his defiant 63 (203 balls, 9 fours).

    It completed a riveting day of action, the only fully completed one after the other three days had some time lost on account of the weather in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

    Led by Kleinveldt, the Cobras bossed the early part of the day as they soared into a big lead. The left-hander recorded an impressive 175 (373 balls, 22 fours) to beat his previous highest score of 173, with wonderful support coming through Verreynne – the 22-year-old continuing to perform this time with an attacking 78 off 98 balls (7 fours, 2 sixes).

    The pair started the day together at 325-3 and ended up amassing 127 for the fourth wicket.

    More big hitting followed by Aviwe Mgijima (39 off 48 balls) and Ntini (17 not out off 17 balls), with Kleinveldt finally succumbing when he was ninth out.

    The Cobras were eventually dismissed after 131.2 overs – the main wicket-takers for the Dolphins being spinners Smangaliso Nhlebela (4-109) and Prenelan Subrayen (4-132).

    The home side then landed in some big early trouble after Paterson (2-50) struck twice in the opening over to take out Nhlebela and Marques Ackerman, both for ducks.

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    After Vaughn van Jaarsveld’s 37 calmed nerves, Jason Smith (1-28) and debutant Ntini’s double pushed the Durban-based side into deep trouble – the latter, who is the son of Proteas legend Makhaya, accounting for Khaya Zondo (11) and Andile Phehlukwayo (10) as he ended with 2-45.

    Chetty, though, survived the storm and, together with Robbie Frylinck (44 not out), earned his side a hard-fought draw.

    Photo: BackPagePix

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