The year-end holidays were officially welcomed to the Kingdom of the Zulu on Tuesday evening at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead as the Hollywoodbets Showdown at the Coast between the Sunfoil Dolphins and Cell C Sharks – won by the cricketers by 26 runs – was fun filled, family orientated and festive.
Complete with Mexican waves and flashing stumps, one-handed catches on the field and drop catches off it, dubious celeb umpires decision and mascot dance offs, dancing girls and pumping music, the day was unquestionably a festive one for all of the 3400 in attendance.
“It was awesome to see the amount of people that came out tonight to support both teams!” said Sunfoil Dolphins all-rounder Robbie Frylinck. “Some of us know the rugby players quite well but, obviously, what you see on TV and in real life is very different.”
“We’re in the middle of our pre-season campaign so it is great to get away from that for a bit and come out here tonight and be a part of such an occasion and support such a good cause,” added the day’s Cell C Sharks captain Cobus Reinach.
Batting first, the Sunfoil Dolphins set their rugby counterparts an imposing target of 228 for victory after Calvin Savage (50 retired), Frylinck (48) and Cameron Delport (43) bludgeoned the Cell C Sharks bowlers to all parts of the ground despite Jaco van Tonder’s (3/27) best efforts.
In response the Sharks lads started steadily thanks to squad newcomer Rhyno Smith (52) before center Andre Esterhuizen sent no fewer than three deliveries sailing high and handsomely over the West Stand in his effort of 33.
In the end it wasn’t enough from the rugby players though as the cricketers prevailed, earning themselves a 2-1 advantage after three editions of the clash.
While the day saw the coming together of two of Durban’s sporting greats, it was also one of generous support from Hollywoodbets of the day’s two beneficiaries, Umlazi Cricket Club and the Malvern Children’s Home.
Hollywoodbets’ upfront amount of R20000 to the two beneficiaries was soon amplified further as every six hit on the evening adding another R500 to the shared tally with no fewer than 27 balls clearing the ropes on the night.
“It as good fun with lots of sixes hit and over R13000 raised for both charities – the Malvern Children’s Home and the Umlazi Cricket Club,” added a satisfied Frylinck.
The day’s action started with the two franchises’ stars of yesteryear locked in a six-a-side clash between Lance Klusener’s Sunfoil Dolphins Legends and John Smit’s Cell C Sharks Legends which the cricketers claimed by just eight runs.
Batting first, Shaun Pollock and Errol Stewart gave the Dolphins Legends the start they were looking for, guiding their side to 58 for three.
In reply, the Cell Sharks Legends stuttered early on as Doug Watson and Stewart claimed two wickets apiece
A brave partnership between Ryan Strudwick and Eduard Coetzee brought the rugby aces closer but in the end it wasn’t enough as they finished on 50 for four, handing the Sunfoil Dolphins Legends an eight run win.
The day’s action-packed line-up of entertainment also included a memorable performance by one of Durban’s finest, Gangs of Ballet, presented by Cell C, who rocked the enthusiast crowd of KZN sport lovers.