The Sunfoil Dolphins suffered a disappointing 66 run loss to The Unlimited Titans in their RAM Slam T20 Challenge clash at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Wednesday however off the field young Jéan de Wet’s night was made when he added his name into the competition’s ‘Catch a Million’ competition’s winners mix.
Having restricted the visitors to 136/9, the men from Durban would have started their chase full of confidence they could chase down the target however pace quartet Chris Morris (4/9), Albie Morkel (2/14), Junior Dala (2/13) and David Wiese (1/13) saw the home side skittled out for just 70 – their lowest total in the competition’s history – with only Dwayne Bravo (27) and David Miller (12) reaching double figures.
“It wasn’t a great performance from our side,” admitted young all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo afterwards.
“We lost too many wickets in the powerplay and then after that we had to play catch-up cricket and if you want to win games then you can’t be playing catch-up in T20 cricket.
“Hopefully we come back strong in the next games, we’ve got to lift ourselves up and play some good cricket!” he added definitively.
Despite the disappointing loss, the unit will take some confidence from the performance with the ball.
After Proteas wicket-keeper/batsman Quinton de Kock got the men from up north off to a blistering start – his five boundaries early on seeing the visitors to 45 for one after the opening five overs – the Sunfoil Dolphins bowlers, led by Keshav Maharaj (2/16), performed admirably in the second quarter of the opening innings to peg the Titans back to 73 for two at the halfway stage.
De Kock’s departure for 38 off 31 balls brought an abrupt halt to the flow of the Titans’ innings as they failed to both find or clear the ropes between overs seven and seventeen.
The resultant pressure eventually saw the loss of six wickets for just 37 runs in the final five overs, Phehlukwayo (3/27) and Ryan McLaren (3/28) the destroyers in chief.
“I think throughout the tournament our bowling has been really good,” said Phehlukwayo.
“The peak of the performances so far in the tournament has been KP with the bat but backing that up has been the bowling performance.
“So in that department we’re really happy, we – as a team – need to step up with the bat.”
The night may have been one to forget for the players however 18 year-old De Wet sent the crowd into ruptures when became the third person to earn a share of the R1million up for grabs in the RAM Slam’s ‘Catch a Million’ competition.
De Wet, a matric pupil at Maritzburg College busy preparing for the upcoming Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Week with the rest of his KZN Inland Schools team, successfully claimed a difficult, one-handed catch off a Phehlukwayo maximum to add his name to the winners list.
“I’d already caught one of the signed balls Cameron Delport hit out into the crowd at the dinner break and then I was busy sending a text when I looked up and saw the ball coming in my direction,” explained De Wet.
“It was dropping quite quickly so i didn’t think it was going to reach me but I dropped my phone, caught the ball and I don’t know from there, it happened so quickly!
“I’ve played against Andile a couple of times before so quite special to take the catch off a good friend!” he added.
So impressive was the effort that even RAM Deliverer of the Day, Chris Morris congratulated the young winner in person both during and after the match. “That’s a great catch bud, well done!” said Morris.
De Wet, who had driven down with some friends from Pietermaritzburg especially for the game, had said in jest to his dad prior to the fixture that if he caught a six then he’d take everyone out for the evening.
With his dream having come true though, the youngster’s tune changed almost instantly.
“I’ll definitely invest it and save it for later!” he explained wisely.
The Sunfoil Dolphins now travel to East London where they take on the Warriors at Buffalo Park on Friday, 20 November before heading to Bidvest Wanderers for their clash with the bizhub Highveld Lions on Sunday 22 November.