Classy team effort sees Dolphins cruise home in Bloem opener

2009-01-23 00:00

IT WAS all smiles for the KZN Dolphins last night as their first complete peformance resulted in a comprehensive 68-run victory over a lacklustre Eagles side in their opening Standard Bank Pro20 Series match in Bloemfontein.

After Ahmed Amla won the toss and elected to bat, HD Ackermann and Grant Rowley heaped on the misery for an Eagles outfit that still looked dazed after their MTN final no-show against the Titans.

Ackermann rode his luck initially on his way to a breezy 82 off 67 balls. Rowley, meanwhile was more circumspect as the duo racked up 142 off 17 overs for the opening stand.

Rowley finished with a flourish to end with a top score of 88 from 65 balls. He clubbed eight fours and three sixes to justify the faith the selectors had in putting him straight back into the line-up.

The final total of 184/2 was even more daunting for the home side after they lost the services of their lynchpin, Loots Bosman.

Attempting to prevent another Rowley boundary, Bosman made a hash of his slide and dug his knee into the turf before landing very awkwardly. What initially looked comical turned rather serious as the big-hitting opener lay prone on the floor in obvious agony. He was taken to hospital by ambulance, and though there were no official reports, he looks likely to be out for several weeks.

The Eagles’ batting card was abysmal, with several ambitious shots resulting in them being bundled out for just 116. Ryan Bailey (31) and Boeta Dippenaar (24) were the only batsmen to even threaten the Dolphins as the home side fell apart.

Amla was full of praise for his side’s clinical showing, and hopes to carry the form into tomorrow’s game against the Titans.

“The guys upfront batted really well, and all our plans on the field came together,” he said.

“It’s always nice to get a big win on the road, and let’s hope we put in a similar performance in Pretoria.”

Keeper and part-time leg-spin trumpcard Daryn Smit was inspired, claiming two big wickets in his first over, and ending with 3/24.

“I think it’s time to clarify that my first priority is to be a top keeper, and then if my side needs me to bowl, I will do a job,” Smit said.

After yet another superbly controlled display last night, Smit may need to re-think his plans.

The Dolphins will look to complete a dream road-trip tomorrow at Centurion, but the Titans will certainly be no pushovers.

• A second wicket partnership of 116 runs (63 balls) between Henry Davids (112 not out) and Derek Brand (68) paved the way for the Cobras’ four-run win over the Warriors at Newlands last night.

Scores in brief: Cobras 207/2

(H Davids 112*,

D Brand 68),

Warriors 203/5

(C Ingram 84, R Peterson 51)

Cobras won by

four runs.

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