The Sunfoil Dolphins got their second half of their Momentum One Day Cup campaign off on a disappointing note when they suffered a 68 run defeat to the Cape Cobras at PPC Newlands on Friday evening.
Having been set a target of 266, the Dolphins’ run chase started slowly and never quite recovered despite the best efforts of David Miller and Ryan McLaren and chip-ins from Calvin Savage (29) and Keshav Maharaj (25).
“All in all it was disappointing,” admitted Sunfoil Dolphins captain Morné van Wyk. “We are definitely better than that and can definitely give a better account of ourselves.
“But it’s time to stop talking about it and start doing it!” he added.
Winning the toss and batting first, the Cobras opening batsman Andrew Puttick (79 off 98 balls) and Stiaan van Zyl (35 off 68 balls) got the hosts off to the perfect start as they put on 116 for the first wicket.
The demise of Van Zyl – caught by Miller of Ayavuya Myoli – and the wicket of Omphile Ramela the very next delivery halted the Cobras’ scoring rate and brought the Durban franchise back into the contest.
A third wicket for Myoli towards the tail end of his allotment – which yielded a promising 3 for 40 – kept the pressure on the Cape side before captain Justin Ontong and JP Duminy’s fourth wicket partnership rebuilt the innings somewhat.
Two more wickets and the subsequent arrival of Momentum One Day Cup debutant Jason Smith (50* off 50 balls) at the crease saw the youngster and Duminy combine for a stand of 91 for the sixth wicket – broken only in the 50th over as the latter (68 off 62 balls) looked for quick runs off the final few deliveries – swung the momentum back in the hosts’ favour as they amassed 265/6 in 50 overs.
The Sunfoil Dolphins run chase – hampered before a ball was even bowled after opener Imraan Khan’s hamstring injury suffered while fielding saw him unable to bat – started poorly as captain Van Wyk (1) fell in the second over before his stand-in opening partner Tshepang Dithole (3) followed in the eighth over with the score just 15/2.
That soon became 31/3 as Vaughn van Jaarsveld (14) departed and the Dolphins were struggling.
An effort to resurrect things between David Miller and Sibonelo Makhanya (17) and then Miller and Ryan McLaren gave the visitors a glimmer of hope however the run out of Miller (42 off 51 balls) all but ended the Dolphins chase.
Some lusty blows by McLaren (52 off 54) saw him pass the fifty-mark in the 41st over however the game had already slipped through the Sunfoil Dolphins grasp by then.
Having come into the clash in fifth position on the six-team log, Van Wyk had hoped for a stronger showing from his charges as they look to climb the table ahead of the play-offs.
“At some stage it’s got to click and you’ve got to learn the lessons and start applying them,” said Van Wyk.
“We are learning – we’re recognizing areas that we aren’t doing as well as we’d like to in – but we have to start applying our skill sets to those areas.
“We know the recipe we should use but at the moment we’re just coming up a little bit short.
“We’ve got four games left though, which is a lot of cricket still to be played!” he positively.
The Sunfoil Dolphins next Momentum One Day Cup match sees them head to Kimberley where they will face the VKB Knights on Tuesday, 2 February.