A disciplined bowling display and a sound performance with the bat from the Sunfoil Dolphins on Wednesday evening led to a convincing bonus point 54 run win over the Chevrolet Warriors giving the Durban side their first win and some good momentum heading into a busy period of the RAM Slam T20 Challenge in the coming days.
Having won the toss and elected to bat first the Dolphins were clinical in their approach to their innings and managed an imposing 181/4 in their 20 overs and managed to restrict the Warriors to 127/8 to claim a vital bonus point victory.
The bowling stint for the Dolphins started positively with the early wicket of the English dangerman Craig Kieswetter who holed out to Cody Chetty at deep square leg off the young Rabian Engelbrecht in the second over of the innings following two boundaries in the over which set the visitors back slightly early on after they were 19/1 from two overs.
The third over put the hosts on the front foot as Alexander picked up two Warriors scalps in two deliveries with Jon-Jon Smuts being bowled and the skipper Colin Ingram knicking off the very next ball to his opposite number Van Wyk who took a neat catch behind the stumps to set the Warriors back to 20/3 from three overs.
The action continued for the Dolphins as Engelbrecht bagged his second stick after Ryan Bailey chipped a delivery straight to Chetty at midwicket to put his side into more trouble at 26/4 from four overs.
Pressure continued from both ends as Frylinck and Engelbrecht were miserly in their distribution of runs to the opposition. It was then the young Sibonelo Makhanya’s turn to get amongst the wickets when he had Christiaan Jonker caught tidily at midwicket by Khaya Zondo. The team from the Eastern Cape were left reeling at 38/5 from eight overs.
The Warriors rebuilt through opener Somila Seyibokwe and all-rounder Simon Harmer as the pair put on 56 from 42 balls before Seyibokwe hit one down the throat of Bravo at long-on to ruptures from the crowd and Harmer holed out the very next ball to Zondo at deep midwicket which meant the Warriors were 89/7 with six overs to go.
The Dolphins kept the pressure on the Warriors right up until the end of the innings and when Alexander picked up his third wicket (3/10) when he bowled Ayabulela Gqamane the game was done and the home side claimed their first victory of the competition.
With the bat the Dolphins top three all threatened to fire but chip-ins was as far as it went for Morné van Wyk (17 off 11 balls), Cameron Delport (21 off 25 balls) and hero of the Sunday’s game against the Lions, Cody Chetty (22 of 19 balls).
A record fourth wicket partnership for the Dolphins in the RAM SLAM T20 competition between Vaughn van Jaarsveld and international signing Dwayne Bravo of 93 off just 51 balls, eclipsing the 91 set by David Miller and Khaya Zondo last season also against the Warriors, however saw the home side capitalise perfectly on the solid foundation laid down for them.
Having come together in the tenth over, it was steady going at first with just 15 runs coming from the first 15 deliveries. An explosion in the 13th however upped the ante dramatically as 21 runs from the over provided the platform for a burst of 78 runs off the following 36 deliveries.
Two drop chances in the crowd saw the hopes of a fan winning their share of the Get Caught Red Handed R1million dashed however on the field the spirit of Guy Fawkes continued before Bravo’s (43 off 25 balls) fireworks display was ended at the end of the 18th over.
For the second consecutive game the tail of the Dolphins’ innings was interrupted due to issue with the stadium’s lights however ten minutes later play was underway once more and this time there was no slowing of the scoring rate as new batsman Robbie Frylinck helped himself to a boundary off the first ball of the 19th over before six off the final over saw the Dolphins finish on 181/4.
The Sunfoil Dolphins head to Cape Town to play the Nashua Cape Cobras on Friday 9 November and then return home to take on The Unlimited Titans on Sunday 11 November.
Sunfoil Dolphins 181/4 (V. van Jaarsveld 51*, D. Bravo 43)
Chevrolet Warriors 127/8 (C. Alexander 3/10, R. Frylinck 2/16)
Sunfoil Dolphins won by 54 runs