The Sunfoil Dolphins succumbed to a previously winless Chevrolet Warriors side by seven wickets on the last ball of their RAM SLAM T20 clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.
The Durban side clinched a bonus point victory when the two sides met at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead first time round but history wasn’t to be repeated as Warriors captain Colin Ingram stole the Eastern Cape show and was ably supported with both bat and ball by Jon-Jon Smuts and off-spinner Simon Harmer.
Having won the toss and opted to bat first, the Dolphins started briskly thanks to the belligerent left handed Cameron Delport (34 off 21) and number three Cody Chetty.
The pair posted 44 runs from just 3.5 overs and helped in no small way to the Dolphins finishing the powerplay on 59/1.
The introduction of Harmer in the seventh over brought an abrupt halt to proceedings though as he and Smuts spun their webs which saw the Dolphins notch up just 15 runs in overs seven to eleven.
Harmer’s 2/22 in 4 overs and Smuts’ 0/18 in his allotment stunted the progress of the Dolphins’ innings tremendously despite the best efforts of Khaya Zondo and Calypso King Dwayne Bravo.
Bravo and Zondo’s departure for a less than a run-a-ball 21 and 20 in the seventeenth and eighteenth overs respectively then left the Durban side some way below par.
A brave last gasp effort from all-rounder Robbie Frylinck (21 off 12 balls) and Keshav Maharaj saw their side to 142/6 and a tidy first over with the ball from both Frylinck and Alexander got the Dolphins’ bowling effort off to a good start.
A 21-run fourth over seemed to give the Warriors the impetus they required to kick start their chase before Bravo’s removal of England international Craig Kieswetter in the fifth over seemed to swing the momentum back in the Dolphins’ favour.
Kieswetter’s departure saw however signaled the arrival of captain courageous Colin Ingram to the crease and while Dolphins’ captain Morné van Wyk looked to make it as difficult as possible for Ingram and Smuts to settle in overs five through nine by ringing the changes, the pair were patient and sixes in the ninth, tenth and eleventh overs respectively kept them within reach of the steadily rising yet manageable required rate.
At the halfway stage the Dolphins had been 72/4. In response the Warriors notched up 70 runs in their first ten overs however, importantly, three wickets to the good.
Ingram and Smuts continued their resistance as they made their way to impressive half centuries respectively and took their side to within reach of the target.
Despite Smuts’ departure, courtesy of a run out for 54 off 47 balls, and a second ball duck from Christiaan Jonker, Ingram remained calm and two from the final delivery of the game eventually saw his side across the line as the former Protea finished on an unbeaten 64.
The Sunfoil Dolphins now turn their attention towards Sunday’s much anticipated tripleheader at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead where all six franchises will be in action at the Durban arena.
Match one between The Unlimited Titans and Nashua cape Cobras gets underway at 10h00 before the Chevrolet Warriors take on bizhub Highveld Lions at 14h00.
The home crowd is expected to turn out in their numbers for the day’s action, particularly for the third and final match of the programme when hosts, the Sunfoil Dolphins, take on the Chevrolet Knights at 18h00.
Apparent from the red hot on-field action, there will also be plenty of off-field activities for fans to enjoy on the day.
The RAM #GetCaughtRedHanded Win a R1million competition continues while #DolFANS also stand in line to win a Dwayne Bravo replica shirt by tweeting a photo of themselves at Sunday’s game to @SunfoilDolphins and including the #DolFANS hashtag.
Braai facilities, four and six signs and Willowton giveaways to the first 1000 fans into the ground will also be on offer on Sunday so fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets from www.ticketpros.co.za or from the stadium now.