Vernon Philander took two wickets with the ball, and made a vital contribution with the bat as well for the Cape Cobras. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Pieter Malan and Vernon Philander led the Cape Cobras’ recovery during the afternoon session on day two of the four-day clash against the Dolphins at Newlands on Tuesday.

The pair have put on an unbroken 114-run partnership to steer the Cobras to safer waters at 179/5, after they were previously in a perilous position at 65/5.

Both batsmen showed great application on a tricky surface, and also had to contend with uncomfortable weather conditions.

It certainly was a stop-start affair, with the players being forced off on numerous occasions due to the rain, with the Newlands groundstaff called into action throughout the day.

But both Philander (54 not out) and Malan (87 not out) kept their concentration and managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over without any unnecessary risk-taking.

Philander, in particular, was very good through the offside, utilising the back-foot push to good effect.

The Proteas all-rounder was equally enterprising on the pull shot, peppering the square-leg boundary on occasion.

However, it was Malan that kept it all together for the Cobras, with the opener using all his powers of restraint to keep the Dolphins bowlers at bay.

The right-hander was particularly solid against Proteas left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, opting to drive him down the ground instead of playing anything across the line.


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