The Sunfoil Dolphins suffered a 42 run loss to the Warriors in their Momentum One Day Cup clash at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday despite a desperate late charge by all-rounder Robbie Frylinck.
Having claimed a bonus point victory courtesy of a near perfect performance against the VKB Knights in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, captain Morné van Wyk and his charges came into the clash eager for a second positive result however it wasn’t to be as a disappointing middle order effort with the bat followed a poor final ten overs with the ball.
“Overall it wasn’t as bad a performance as they scoreboard maybe suggests, even though that is all that matters,” said Van Wyk. “We were quite happy with our bowling and felt we restricted them to par and definitely we would have backed ourselves to chase 275.”
“A little bit disappointed with the result,” added Sunfoil Dolphins head coach Lance Klusener. “I thought we were good in patches but at this level we need to be better more often.”
Winning the toss and batting first, the Warriors made steady progress up front through wicket-keeper/batsman Gihahn Cloete and captain Colin Ingram and while Cloete (49) was cruelly run-out at the non-striker’s off a deflection off the bowler’s hand one run short of his maiden Momentum One Day Cup half century, Ingram (53) successfully surpassed the 50-run mark.
Yaseen Vallie strode to the crease eager to take advantage of the steady platform laid before him and after he started slowly, the young man unleashed in the final ten overs of the innings that saw him finish on 96 off 78 balls and contribute to 93 runs coming from the final powerplay.
“I felt our fielding wasn’t as good as it should have been and then we bowled a couple too many four balls as well,” said Klusener.
Needing a solid start to their run chase, the Sunfoil Dolphins suffered the early loss of their skipper without scoring before Cameron Delport (34) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (28) combined well in their 49-run second wicket partnership.
Van Jaarsveld dismissal in the same unfortunate manner as Cloete’s demise earlier in the day halted proceedings somewhat before a brief shower at the end of the fourteenth over took the players from the field briefly.
When play recommenced the men from Durban made slow but steady progress courtesy of Cody Chetty and Tshepang Dithole – compiling a fighting knock of 35 in just his second franchise innings – keeping their pursuit of their revised target of 273 off 48 overs alive.
However the wickets by the left-arm orthodox of Smuts in the 22nd over and another to Sisanda Magala in the 23rd left the Sunfoil Dolphins desperately needing a hero, or two.
“We started off well but unfortunately the four wickets we lost off nine balls ripped the heart out of our chase and took the platform away that we would have liked,” said Van Wyk.
In walked the hard hitting Frylinck, and he was soon joined by the equally aggressive Keshav Maharaj, as the pair looked to achieve the impossible.
Playing their natural game saw Frylinck (56) and Maharaj (31) combined for 61 runs off just 47 deliveries for the ninth wicket before Maharaj was bowled by a Basheeru-Deen Walters full toss, effectively dashing hopes of a fairytale finish for the visitors.
“We accelerated towards the end but being bowled out with nine overs left is something you never want to happen in 50 over cricket, is something we’re aware of and have talked about – it just shows how important it is to bat your full fifty overs,” said Van Wyk.
“There were too many soft wickets when we batted, I’d like to see us be a little bit harder, and certainly we’re going to have to pick ourselves up come Friday night against a very good Lions team!” added Klusener.
The Sunfoil Dolphins now return to Durban ahead of the first Momentum One Day Cup assignment at their headquarters Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Friday, 16 October when they square off against the bizhub Highveld Lions.
Gates open at 13h00 on Friday before play gets underway at 14h00. Tickets can be purchased from www.ticketpro.co.za with fans reminded that any tickets purchased online gives the purchaser the opportunity to nominate a cricket club or school who will then receive 50% share of the value of the ticket.