A dream final over from young Andile Phehlukwayo, which yielded three wickets, lead the Sunfoil Dolphins to an unlikely five run victory over the Cape Cobras in their RAM Slam T20 Challenge Qualifier on Wednesday night at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead.
Phehlukwayo was left with nine runs to defend off the final six deliveries of the match and managed to restrict the Cobras to three runs for the loss of three wickets and another match winning performance with the ball for the former Glenwood High School pupil.
“We had spoken after my second to last over that I was going to bowl the final over,” he mentioned. “During the week I had been training and I had an idea that a big moment like this was going to come around.”
Defending a slight margin off the final over is something that is familiar to Phehlukwayo, who ended with figures of 2/28 and won the RAM Deliverer of the Day, as has had to do it previously this season and for the 19 year old it was a case of sticking to his processes and finishing the job.
“After I did it previously I realised that moments like this are going to come up again even if it is in the semi-final and I knew that I was prepared for it,” a visibly jubilant Phehlukwayo added.
With the ball coming on nicely up front the Sunfoil Dolphins openers Cameron Delport and captain Morné van Wyk made use of the conditions as they put on 46 in the first five overs before they pushed past half a century and beyond.
Van Wyk was circumspect up front while the left handed Delport found the boundary with ease as he went on to register his first fifty of the campaign before he holed out to spinner Robin Peterson for 55.
Van Wyk then took on the reigns as chief destroyer with David Miller finding his feet at the other end. Once the captain departed for a patient 57 from 49 balls which brought to the crease Kevin Pietersen who managed to pick up from where he left off with a quick fire 27 from ten deliveries.
Miller managed to find the middle of the willow towards the end of the innings and took the final Mthokozisi Shezi over for 19 which catapulted the Dolphins to 178 from their 20 overs.
The Dolphins struggled up front with the ball as Richard Levi (87) played strokes to all parts of the ground and captain Morné van Wyk was first to admit the side battled to get rhythm with the ball.
“I don’t think that we were at our best with the ball tonight especially in the first three quarters but the end is where it really matters.
“There is a lot of extra pressure in the last five overs and a bit more to play for and that is where we came good and executed our skills really well.
“I’m sure a lot of guys will take a lot of confidence from this especially guys like Andile, Rabian (Engelbrecht) and Aya (Myoli) who are all playing in their first real play-off game.
They are three key bowlers for us so they will take a lot from this,” Van Wyk mentioned.
The captain was quick to praise his young seamer Phehlukwayo.
“There isn’t much you can say about that last over from Andile except that he deserves all the praise that he is going to get!”
The Durban crowd of over 6500 were in full voice as the home side managed to pull an unlikely victory from the fire and the influence that they played towards the end of the match was not missed by Van Wyk.
“You know that it is going to be buzzy here during these Wednesday night games.
“They really get behind us when we gain a bit of momentum and they did again tonight! We are creating a bit of a fortress here which is exactly what we want,” he said.
The Sunfoil Dolphins travel to Supersport Park Centurion where they will face off with The unlimited Titans in the RAM Slam T20 Challenge final on Saturday, 12 December.