Delport helps Dolphins bounce back against the Lions

With Cameron Delport leading the charge with bat, ball and in the field, the Hollywoodbets Dolphins put in a commanding performance against the bizhub Highveld Lions at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban to clinch their CSA T20 Challenge clash by 49 runs on Wednesday.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Dolphins openers Cameron Delport and Morné van Wyk set a new record for the first wicket partnership for the Dolphins against the Lions, their 124-run stand paving the way for the hosts to amass 193/4 in their 20 overs.

Early wickets from Mthokozisi Shezi (2/30) and Robbie Frylinck (2/17) gave the Dolphins the start with the ball they wanted and then career best bowling figures of 4/17 in 3.3 overs by Delport saw the Lions bowled out for 144 in their final over, handing the hosts a bonus point victory.

“When the luck is going your way, you’ve just got to ride it,” beamed Delport afterwards having been dropped three times and survived two other near chances in his innings of 93 not out off 62 balls.

“Morné and I had that important partnership of 100 up front and we know that when we do that, as a team we bat so deep and have so much diversity on our team that we can post a big total.

“Then, once Morné got out, I just tried to bat as deep into the innings as I could,” he added.

While Delport – who also clinched a catch in the field – stole the headlines, it was skipper Van Wyk who set the tone early on with an innings of sweeps and reverse sweeps as he blazed his way to 60 off 37 balls.

With the job done with the bat, it was over to the bowlers, whose task was made especially difficult earlier on in the day when Andile Phehlukwayo – who was dealt a nasty blow during Sunday’s Warriors game – was ruled out for the remainder of the competition.

Despite Phehlukwayo’s absence, Shezi and Frylinck started strongly and chip ins came from Rabian Engelbrecht (2/26), debutant Mbasa Gqadushe, Kyle Nipper and Imran Tahir, before it was Delport who again basked in the lion’s share of the limelight.

“I love bowling and work hard on it in the nets.

“I think I’ve got a role to play with the ball, especially in the shorter format and it was nice to be able to contribute this evening.”

The Dolphins’ well-polished, all-round display gives them good confidence ahead of the commencement of a four-match road trip and their next assignment against the Multiply Titans at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Sunday, 20 November.

“We’ve got quite a big trip coming up with some important games,” said Delport.

“Hopefully the unit can come together and have fun and if we can keep putting performances together like we did tonight, then we can definitely go a long way in this competition.”

The Hollywoodbets Dolphins dedicated their performance on Wednesday evening to team mate, Phehlukwayo and wish him well as he starts his road to recovery.