A disappointing performance with the bat resulted in the Sunfoil Dolphins falling to their fourth loss of the current RAM Slam T20 Challenge campaign at the hands of the VKB Knights in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Having won the toss and elected to bat on a slow wicket in the Friendly City, the Dolphins batsmen battled to get partnerships together and with poor shot selection and a few run outs the side from Durban had to settle for a well below par score of 82 for the loss of nine wickets in their 20 overs.
The regular loss of wickets was the problem for the Dolphins as they could not create a partnership of substance throughout their innings on a wicket that suggested that 140 plus would be a par score.
The Dolphins lost the wickets of Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Khaya Zondo early which left them reeling at 11/2 with the captain Morné van Wyk and Jonathan Vandiar at the wicket.
The captain Van Wyk then lost his wicket to RAM Deliverer of the Day Malusi Siboti which left the team under pressure with three wickets down with only 18 on the board.
A small partnership between Vandiar and the KZN Inland inform all-rounder Kyle Nipper got the Dolphins through the twenties however a bad mix up between the two lead to the dismissal of Vandiar – run out for ten.
Nipper (13) provided a bit of resistance with Dwayne Bravo however once the left hander went out the Dolphins capitulated with the last four wickets falling for 34 runs as the Dolphins could only muster up 82 with the bat.
Bravo ended as the highest scorer for the side from the East Coast with 23 off 24 deliveries however once he was bowled by fellow West Indian Andre Russell the Dolphins chances of getting a respectable score were on the ropes.
There might have been a few jitters in the Knights camp as Dolphins opening bowlers Keshav Maharaj and Rabian Engelbrecht both picked up early wickets to leave the Bloemfontein based team ten for two.
The pair managed to account for Proteas batsmen Rilee Rossouw and Riza Hendricks but with 82 on the board the Dolphins were chasing the game needing regular wickets to keep them in the contest.
That was the end of the Dolphins resistance as Theunis de Bruin and Aubrey Swanepoel guided the Knights to a comfortable eight wicket win with 42 deliveries to spare.