Dolphins break drought

2014-02-10 00:00

POP the corks, shout it out loud, live the moment — the Dolphins are the Ram Slam T20 champions after scraping home by two runs against the Cobras at Newlands yesterday.

Finally, the trophy duck has been broken. After eight seasons — the last was sharing the four-day competition trophy with the Titans in 2005/06 — silverware has returned to Kingsmead and the players can hold their heads high and enjoy the rewards of hard work, working as a team and reaching a goal they knew was attainable.

In the end, the two-run win was quickly forgotten. It was being crowned champions, finally holding a trophy aloft that mattered most. Emotions ran high as Justin Kemp’s attempt at clearing the boundary to ensure a tie and thus a super over fell just over a metre short, and the Dolphins knew they were home.

Daryn Smit sank to his knees, unable to control his emotions. Khaya Zondo wiped tears from his eyes. Kyle Abbott said his disappointment at not making the Proteas squad for the Tests against Australia had faded into the past as this was the moment that counted.

It was a worthy end to what has been a superb competition over the last five weeks. It went down to the final ball as the match ebbed and flowed, with never a clear winner in the frame until that shot of Kemp’s dropped short of clearing the boundary.

Dolphins skipper Morné van Wyk won the toss and never hesitated in batting first. All through the competition, the Dolphins have won batting first, plus Van Wyk “wanted the runs on the board first in a final”.

On a pitch that proved somewhat slow and two-paced, the batsmen battled to play their shots. Van Wyk and Cameron Delport (4) opened with 17 for the first wicket and a solid powerplay saw the Dolphins handily placed at 47-1. Other than Delport, all the Dolphins batsmen got starts but were nipped out before they could cash in.

Cody Chetty (17) and Smit (14) helped Van Wyk maintain a run rate above seven an over and once the skipper had departed for a solid 47 from 45 balls, it was left to David Miller (25) and Khaya Zondo (16) to add impetus.

Wickets when it counted, including Vaughn van Jaarsveld first ball, saw the Dolphins struggle to get a solid momentum and 146-8, at 7,30 appeared 15 to 20 runs short. Jacques Kallis was best of the Cobra bowlers with 4-26 in three overs.

Striking early, the Dolphins had the Cobras reeling on the ropes at 21-4 in their powerplay. Then Stiaan van Zyl (46) and an unlikely hero in Sybrand Engelbrecht (56) added 91 for the fifth wicket, taking the Cobras to 111-5 before Robbie Frylinck’s superb hit on the stumps from mid-off let the Dolphins back in.

Justin Kemp was left to do the business and he came agonisingly close as he finished on 21*, the Cobras on 144-7. Frylinck defended 14 in the final over and then it was party time for the Dolphins. Abbott bagged 2-17 and Mthokozisi Shezi 2-18 in their four overs, Frylinck the other wicket-taker (1-34).

“This is massive for the Dolphins,” said Van Wyk. “We have been hungry and passionate about winning this trophy. We set out on this journey and all the players put up their hands. I am so proud of them and now that we know how to win and had a taste of it, we can achieve more.”

Coach Lance Klusener, who sat without emotion throughout the game, said, “This team worked so hard for this. They deserve this so much and my heart bleeds for them. That Cobras partnership was worrying but I am so proud of my boys.”

Batting consultant Dale Benkenstein, a player in that last trophy winning Dolphins side when Klusener was captain, highlighted the team effort in claiming the trophy. “Great bowling and batting has made this team consistent and a winning one. We’ve got better as we have progressed and this win is richly deserved for a bunch of players who have given everything to make it happen.”

Deliverer of the day was Shezi and Van Wyk was Slammer of the day.

SCOREBOARD

Dolphins innings

M van Wyk c Kallis b Engelbrecht47

C Delport c Kemp b Hendricks4

C Chetty c Vilas b Piedt17

D Smit c Vilas b Ontong14

D Miller c Kemp b Kallis25

K Zondo c Kemp b Kallis16

V van Jaarsveld c Ontong b Kallis0

R Frylinck c Mgijima b Kallis6

K Abbott not out1

K Maharaj not out6

Extras: (lb6, w4)10

TOTAL: (for eight wickets, 20 overs)146

Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-49, 3-75, 4-95, 5-127, 6-128, 7-135, 8-139

Bowling: Hendricks 4-0-24-1 (1w), Piedt 3-0-14-1, Kallis 3-0-26-4 (1w), Williams 1-0-7-0 (1w), Kemp 4-0-34-0, Ontong 3-0-14-1, Engelbrecht 2-0-21-1.

Cape Cobras innings

R Levi c Delport b Shezi1

J Kallis b Frylinck5

S van Zyl run out (Frylinck)46

D Vilas lbw b Abbott1

J Ontong c Smit b Shezi0

S Engelbrecht c Zondo b Abbott56

J Kemp not out21

D Piedt run out (Frylinck)5

A Mgijima not out1

Extras: (lb3, w5)8

TOTAL: (for seven wickets, 20 overs)144

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-11, 3-19, 4-20, 5-111, 6-126, 7-138

Bowling : Abbott 4-0-17-2 (2w), Shezi 4-0-18-2, Frylinck 4-0-34-1 (1w), Maharaj 4-0-29-0 (2w), Smit 3-0-32-0, Zondo 1-0-11-0.

Result: Dolphins won by 2 runs.

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