JOHANNESBURG – The pitch was all the talk for large parts of the opening day here Monday, with players, coaches and officials concerned about how inconsistent it played and on occasion if there was an element of danger too.
From afar it had a strange colour scheme; green through the middle while the ends were bare and brown. The problem were the patches where the green and brown areas met; bowling from the Hennops River End seamers could target an area that looked like a puzzle, with the ball shooting through low. Cricket SA may yet send its pitch inspector to the ground to assess conditions on Tuesday after 18 wickets fell on the opening day.
The Titans were unable to come to terms with the challenges of the pitch. The Cobras seamers certainly out-bowled their opponents on the first day, giving the visitors a significant advantage with a lead at stumps of 134 runs.
Jonathan Vandiar and Rivaldo Moonsamy were both victims of deliveries that spat viciously off the pitch; Moonsamy’s dismissal led Theunis de Bruyn to turn to umpire Bongani Jele, and shrug his shoulders animatedly clearly expressing frustration with the pitch.
De Bruyn was the Titans’ best batsman scoring exactly half of their runs in what was a very good show of patience and shotmaking.