A complete, all-round performance from the Sunfoil Dolphins saw the side return to winning ways on Tuesday when they secured a bonus point, 46-run win over the VKB Knights in their Momentum One Day Cup clash at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley and climb to fourth on the log.
With the Dolphins in fifth place and the Knights sixth coming into the clash, both teams sought a positive result and in the end it was the Durban outfit that managed to produce an all-round performance to keep their MODC play-off hopes alive.
“When you’ve had a disappointing result like we did in Cape Town on Friday, you’ve got to pull together and try to rectify it as soon as possible, which I thought we did today with a good, solid performance,” said captain Morné van Wyk. “Everybody contributed in some way!”
After winning the toss and opting to take first guard, the Sunfoil Dolphins top order finally clicked as they have been striving to do for much of the season, with three of the top five notching up half centuries.
Birthday boy Vaughn van Jaarsveld got his side of to a brisk start with his run-a-ball 50 before Cody Chetty (69) and Khaya Zondo (52) combined to achieve the side’s first 100 run partnership of the competition.
Some late hitting from the likes of Calvin Savage (33 off 23 balls), Kyle Nipper (29 off 29 balls), Andile Phehlukwayo (15 off 10 balls) and Keshav Maharaj (13* off 3 balls) then saw the visitors to 290/8 off their 50 overs.
The Knights’ chase got underway however play was halted by heavy rainfall after just nine deliveries.
After much hard work from the ground staff and both captains’ willingness to push for a result, play got underway at 20h20 with the Knights’ target revised to 158 off 20 overs (D/L).
Craig Alexander’s wicket off the first ball after the break set the tone for the Knights innings as the regular loss of wickets prevented them from launching any real attack.
Van Wyk’s use of all eight bowlers at his disposal saw seamers Savage (3/16) and Phehlukwayo join Alexander in the wickets column however it was the side’s slower bowlers that did the greatest damage on the slow, turning track.
Zondo’s 3 wickets for 12 runs in 2.3 overs, together with yet another remarkable spell from Maharaj (2/19 in four overs) and an over from Nipper, saw the Knights all out for 111.
“It was great to be able to contribute for the team and in a winning cause,” said Man of the Match, Zondo, afterwards.
“It was a slow pitch and it was hard to come in and start playing your strokes straight away but Cody (Chetty) was batting at a good strike rate, which took the pressure off me, so a lot of credit to him for my success with the bat.
“I then also had to turn the arm over,” he chuckled. “The captain backed me and it was great that it came out nicely today!”
The Sunfoil Dolphins will be well pleased with the results and will now look to carry some momentum into their final clash of their three-match stint on the road on Friday, 5 February in Potchefstroom against the bizhub Highveld Lions before returning to Sahara Stadium Kingsmead for their final two MODC clashes.
“This result keeps us in the competition but it’s by no means a case of job done yet,” confirmed Van Wyk. “Hopefully this is just the start for us!”
“A couple of us look like we’re finding some form at the back end of the competition, which is definitely the right time to perform.
“Hopefully we can just keep on going from here,” he added.