The Sunfoil Dolphins’ Momentum One Day Cup campaign came to a close on Tuesday evening when they suffered a 58 run loss to The Unlimited Titans at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in the 50 over competition’s qualifier.
Having won the toss and opting to take first guard, it was a standout century from Proteas test opening bat Dean Elgar that tipped the scale in the favour of the men in purple at the interval before an early-innings collapse reduced the Dolphins to 52/4 and put the hosts firmly on the back foot.
A brave effort to rebuild the chase from Khaya Zondo (72), together with chip-ins from Daryn Smit (24) and Robbie Frylinck (18), gave the men from Durban a glimmer of hope however Frylinck and Zondo’s departure in the space of just four deliveries effectively ended the contest.
Despite pre-match predictions of a spin-friendly pitch, Titans’ quicks Junior Dala (3/35) and JP de Villiers (3/34) were the chief destroyers for the Centurion based outfit as the pair ripped the heart out of the Dolphins’ top and middle order.
Earlier in the day the men in black and green looked on track to repeat Sunday’s victory when their effort with the ball started positively after a wicket apiece for Keshav Maharaj and Robbie Frylinck left the Titans reeling on 8/2 after just three overs.
Determined to make an impression in coloured clothing on top of his longer format reputation, Elgar had other plans though as he and Jacques Rudolph (39) ground their team out of the early trouble.
Two more wickets for Maharaj (3/50) saw the balance of the game shift once more however the arrival of the hard-hitting David Wiese and the earlier departure of the re-injured Ryan McLaren for the Dolphins, signaled the start of a productive final phase which produced 109 runs in the final ten overs.
While Wiese ended unbeaten on 71, Elgar departed in the 50th over however the damage had been done by then and the Titans’ 267/6 – an innings aided significantly by missed opportunities in the field by the Dolphins – always looked a tall order.
The Titans now head to Cape Town on Friday evening where they will do battle against the Nashua Cape Cobras in the Momentum One Day Cup final while the Sunfoil Dolphins look to continue their good run of form in the Sunfoil Series when they face up to the bizhub Highveld Lions at Bidvest Wanderers in Johannesburg from 19-22 February.