A match-winning effort with the bat from Khaya Zondo and an important turn around by the Sunfoil Dolphins bowlers in the second half of their innings in the field saw the men from Durban claim an significant Momentum One Day Cup victory over the bizhub Highveld Lions at Senwes Park, Potchestroom on Friday night.
Locked in a battle for second place on the log prior to the fixture, both teams went into the clash eager to walk away victors and in the end it was Morné van Wyk’s charges who held their nerve to claim a 3 wicket victory over the inland counterparts.
Van Wyk and fellow new world record holder Cameron Delport got their side’s chase of a revised 217 in 47 overs off in blistering fashion before Delport fell for 41 from 34 deliveries in the tenth over.
A trio of wickets saw the departure of Cody Chetty (2), Vaughn van Jaarsveld (0) and van Wyk (42) himself saw the Dolphins plummet from 64/1 to 95/4 and in desperate need of a partnership.
The arrival of Zondo and Daryn Smit at the crease saw things stabilize somewhat with a 54-run partnership between the pair before Smit’s departure for 27, followed soon after by the important wicket of Robbie Frylinck, saw the butterflies flutter in the stomach once more.
Zondo maturely notched up 70 not out off 75 balls as he, with the support of Prenelan Subrayen and Craig Alexander, eventually saw the Dolphins across the line with 17 balls remaining.
Earlier in the day Alexander got the early breakthrough the visitors had hoped for when he removed Lions opener Stephen Cook in the fifth over however a 99-run partnership between Proteas’ test opening bat Alviro Petersen (47) and eventual match top run scorer Temba Bavuma (80) saw the momentum shift in the hosts’ favour.
A short rain delay after the 14th over with the score on 74/1, slowed things slightly for the Lions before a middle order collapse saw the balance of the game shift once more.
A double strike by Frylinck in his third spell and another brace in his fourth saw the Dolphins all-rounder finish with impressive figures of 4/30 in 9.3 overs and rounded out the Lions’ innings on 214.
Coach Lance Klusener will undoubtedly be far happier with his bowlers’ efforts compared to previous occasions with spinners Smit and Subrayen putting in telling performances while Daryn Dupavillon and Alexander’s contributions backed up Frylinck’s efforts well.
The Dolphins’ victory and the table-topping Nashua Cape Cobras’ Friday evening loss to The Unlimited Titans has added extra intrigue ahead of Sunday’s clash between the two sides on the log as now just five points separate first and second.
Sunday’s three fixtures around the country represent the final clashes of the first half of the Momentum One Day Cup before the South African domestic cricket scene turns its attention to the action-packed RAM Slam T20 however there is still plenty to play for, especially for the Dolphins and Cobras who go head to head at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead with play set to get underway at 10h00.