Dolphins’ master-class restores some pride

Two centuries and one inspired spell of bowling catapulted the Sunfoil Dolphins out of their mid-week doldrums as they loped to a 34 run victory in their final Momentum One Day Cup match of the season against The Unlimited Titans at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Saturday evening.
The performance of the day came from the Dolphins’ young seamer Andile Phehlukwayo who returned with figures of 6/27 in 8.4 overs. These figures were not only his career best but were the second best return for a Dolphins bowler in List-A cricket only second to Andrew Tweedie’s 6/24 against the same opposition in 2005/2006.

“We really just wanted to bounce back from our performance on Wednesday,” player of the match Phehlukwayo said. “We spoke about wanting to come out firing tonight and we did which is a satisfying way to end the season.”

When talking about his six-wicket haul the 19 year old was pleased that he was able to contribute to the team’s success.

“It comes down to the hard work that I have been putting in with the coaches over the season and to help the side get a win is great for me.

“I’ve actually got goose bumps thinking about now and I am just grateful that I have had the backing of the team and the captain – I just want to say thanks!” Phehlukwayo added.

Having been inserted by the visitors it was a circumspect start from the two Dolphins openers who gave the home side a stable platform. This opening provided the start that the side had been lacking in recent weeks however when the captain Morné van Wyk (29) was bowled by a ball that kept low off left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi the Dolphins were 52/1.

The second wicket stand of 210, which is the highest second wicket partnership for the Dolphins, between Sarel Erwee (113) and Khaya Zondo (100) helped lift the Dolphins to an impressive 315 in their 50 overs.

Erwee, who has been waiting in the wings for the majority of the season, took his opportunity with both hands as he registered his first List-A hundred off 128 balls. He played with confidence and ease as he and Zondo accumulated runs at a healthy rate.

Zondo’s power hitting meant that his 100 came at close to a run-a-ball with him registering six sixes and only four boundaries in only his second List-A ton.

Despite this strong partnership the Dolphins lost wickets towards the end however some heavy blows towards the end from Calvin Savage who ended with 19 from 12 balls and helped the Dolphins post a competitive 315/6 in their 50 overs.

The Titans made a strong start with Mangaliso Mosehle (18) and Henry Davids getting the side from Pretoria to 43 before the former became Phehlukwayo’s first victim.

The next partnership of substance came from Protea Dean Elgar and Graham van Buuren – who put on 57 from the fourth wicket before Van Buuren was caught by Chetty off the bowling of centurion Khaya Zondo for 22.

A fifty from Elgar (57) and thirties from Qaasim Adams and Grant Thomson were vital contributions as captain Albie Morkel threatened to take the game away from the Dolphins when be struck an effortless 52 from 36 balls to make a game of it at the death.

The 45th over proved to the be the final straw for the Titans as Savage got Morkel to sky on deep into the night sky and, to his detriment, into the north-easterly which meant that Makhanya could get underneath it and take a good catch considering the circumstances.

A procession followed as Dala was well caught and bowled by McLaren, Thomson was run out via some regulation football skills from Phehlukwayo and the youngster wrapped it up when Ngidi nicked it to Erwee at slip.

The Sunfoil Dolphins return to Sunfoil Series action when they travel to East London to take on the Warriors from 3-6 March.