Down but not out

2014-02-03 00:00

KINGSMEAD is the place to be this Wednesday when the Dolphins host the Titans in the Ram Slam T20 play-off to meet the Cobras in the final next Sunday at Newlands.

This after a frenetic last round of matches yesterday with all six franchises in action and a host of possibilities on the cards. If the Dolphins had beaten the Lions at the Wanderers and the Cobras had lost to the Warriors at Newlands, then the KZN franchise would have finished top of the log and automatically hosted the final, but it was not to be.

As it was, the Lions earned their first win of the campaign at the final hurdle, beating the Dolphins by seven runs and the Cobras dispatched the Warriors by six wickets in a match the East Cape team needed to win to secure third place and a trip to Durban. In the other match, the Titans ousted the Warriors off the podium with a strong eight-wicket win against the Knights in Kimberley.

Final log positions saw the Cobras stand tall with 34 points, followed by the Dolphins on 28 and the Titans 22. The bottom half of the table saw the Warriors on 20 points, the Knights 14 and the lowly Lions nine.

This is a repeat of the One-Day cup competition earlier in the season when the same three franchises battled for the trophy. On that occasion, the Dolphins again hosted the Titans and were undone by a Heino Kuhn century that saw the Titans travel to Newlands. Unfortunately, for the second successive season, rain curtailed the final despite two days being set aside, and the two teams shared the spoils.

This time around, the Dolphins will feel they are within touching distance of getting their hands on a domestic trophy. They have won six of their 10 matches, with three losses and a tie. If they follow the same pattern they have to date in the competition, hopes are high they could produce the goods. A win or two has normally been followed by a loss and then the winning feeling has been found again. Yesterday’s loss to the Lions, in hindsight, could be just the boost they need to go all the way and home ground advantage on Wednesday is massive.

It’s a winner-takes-all situation and having rediscovered what winning is all about, it won’t be unfamiliar territory. All they need is home support and it’s worth putting money down that for once, attendance should exceed the current season’s best of just under 4 000 for the Cobras game a few weeks back.

For the record yesterday, the Dolphins won the toss and asked the Lions to bat first. It was a somewhat jittery Dolphins performance in the field, with none of the bowlers finding their mark, thus missing their lengths. The Lions never stepped back and posted a decent 159-3, thanks to Temba Bavuma (41*), Neil McKenzie (40*) and Quinton de Kock (37).

Craig Alexander (2-31) and Prenelan Subrayen (1-23) were the wicket-takers, with Kyle Abbott having the rarity of going wicketless for the first time in the competition.

With Cameron Delport out first ball, the Dolphins were always up against it and salt was rubbed into the wound when spinner Aaron Phangiso got two in two, bowling Van Wyk (35) and snaffling Miller (0) caught behind the next ball.

Despite Cody Chetty’s 40 and Daryn Smit’s fighting 23, the Dolphins ran out of overs and finished on 152-8. Phangiso (3-18) and fellow spinner Eddie Leie (2-25) put the skid on the Dolphins charge, with Hardus Viljoen (2-31) and Pumelela Matshikwe (1-32) chipping in.

Phangiso was the Deliverer of the day and Bavuma the Slammer.

Wednesday’s match starts at 6 pm.

SCOREBOARD

Lions innings

S Cook b Subrayen22

Q de Kock b Alexander37

H van der Dussen c Chetty b Alexander14

N McKenzie not out40

T Bavuma not out41

Extras: (lb1, w3, nb1)5

TOTAL: (for three wickets, 20 overs)159

Fall of wickets: 1-59, 2-75, 3-82

Bowling: Zondo 1-0-11-0, Abbott 4-0-34-0 (1nb, 1w), Alexander 4-0-31-2 (1w), Frylinck 4-0-39-0 (1w), Subrayen 4-0-23-1, Smit 3-0-20-0.

Dolphins innings

M van Wyk b Phangiso35

C Delport c Bavuma b Matshikwe0

C Chetty b Phangiso43

D Miller c de Kock b Phangiso0

V van Jaarsveld c Viljoen b Leie8

K Zondo b Leie4

D Smit lbw b Viljoen23

R Frylinck c Conway b Viljoen14

K Abbott not out15

P Subrayen not out7

Extras: (lb1, w1, nb1)3

TOTAL: (for eight wickets, 20 overs)152

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-58, 3-58, 4-75, 5-90, 6-94, 7-114, 8-136

Bowling: Matshikwe 4-0-32-1 (1nb) , Morris 4-0-45-0, Viljoen 4-0-31-2 (1w), Leie 4-0-25-2, Phangiso 4-0-18-3

Result: Lions won by seven runs.

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