The Hollywoodbets Dolphins were handed their first defeat of the 2017 Momentum One Day Cup by the BuildNat Cape Cobras by three wickets at the Pietermaritzburg Oval on Sunday.
Having won the toss and chosen to bat first on a wicket that needed special attention before the start of the match due to wet patches, the Dolphins got off to the ideal start with openers Morné van Wyk and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (54) dominating the Cape outfit’s attack while the ball was still hard.
The opening stand was broken at 90 when Van Jaarsveld holed out off Cobras skipper Dane Piedt in the 15th over. Van Wyk continued to boss play as he notched up his 17th List-A hundred off 118 balls and his first of the 2017 one day cup.
The Dolphins continued to lose wickets as the ball got older and softer with Cape Cobras’ Rory Kleinveldt being the chief destroyer with figures of 4/48 in his ten overs that played a vital role in restricting the Dolphins to a gettable 256/8.
Having to go at five runs to the over the Cobras started briskly with big-hitter Richard Levi taking a liking to Rabian Englebrecht as he bludgeoned his way to 52 from 35 deliveries. His opening partner Omphile Ramela was slightly more subdued as he compiled a crucial 62 runs.
Ramela’s innings was one of two parts as he retired hurt with a quad strain when he was on 60 and returned with the Cobras were six wickets down.
The Dolphins slow bowlers managed to keep the Cobras in check through the middle period of the innings with left-arm spinner Kyle Nipper taking 2/46 in his ten overs and off-spinner Prenelan Subrayan also proving much-needed stability for the home side.
Cobras wicket-keeper Dane Vilas played a crucial knock, finishing on 47 not out from 58 deliveries that guided his side to a memorable final over victory.
With two overs to go the Dolphins might have felt that it was their game to lose with the Cobras requiring 18 runs from the final 12 balls. Friday night’s hero Rob Frylinck showed his mettle to concede eight from the penultimate over giving him impressive figures of 3/39 in his ten overs.
Mthokozisi Shezi was entrusted with bowling the final over to Rory Kleinveldt and Dane Vilas. It only lasted two deliveries as Kleinveldt cut the first ball for four and dispatched the second over mid-wicket for a maximum.
The Hollywoodbets Dolphins hit the road this week as they get ready to take on the VKB Knights in Bloemfontein on 1 March.