Kyle nips Dolphins into MTN semis with superb left-arm spin spell

2010-01-18 00:00

A SUPERB spell of left-arm spin bowling by Pietermaritzburg’s Kyle Nipper played a major role in the KZN Dolphins reaching next weekend’s semi-finals of the MTN40 cricket competition, when they beat league winners the Titans by 32 runs at a festive Maritzburg Oval yesterday.

Debutant “Nips”, as he is known to all and sundry, bowled quite beautifully to snare two wickets for 38 runs off his maximum eight overs, as the Titans were dismissed for 202 in chasing the Dolphins’ 237 for seven in their allotted 40 overs.

Varying his pace and point of delivery while also extracting turn, Nipper showed he possesses the temperament for the big occasion. In tandem with leg-spinner/wicketkeeper Daryn Smit and the other slower bowlers, he helped strangle the Titans at the moment they were preparing to launch their final victory charge, having enjoyed a fine start.

“We’ve let ourselves down this season, but today we played tremendously well and it just shows that, in this sort of form, we can give the best sides in the country a run for their money,” Dolphins captain Imraan Khan said afterwards.

Indeed, the Dolphins hit almost 100 off the last 10, while Khan said another win factor was the side’s best fielding of the season.

As a result, the Dolphins will face the Titans in Centurion next Sunday in the second MTN40 semi-final.

Nipper and Smit certainly deserved better returns for their efforts, while Dolphins’ slow-medium Pierre de Bruyn and medium-pacer Alfonso Thomas also read the pitch well.

After Gulam Bodi’s soft dismissal, De Bruyn grabbed the vital breakthrough of the innings when the dangerous Titans opener Blake Snijman was caught by sub Jon Kent at deep midwicket, for a swashbuckling 64 off 70 balls.

The polished Jacques Rudolph (37) was directing the Titans’ final onslaught, but with the total 150 for four in the 29th over, David Miller made yards to his right to pouch an exceptional two-handed diving catch close to the long-off boundary off Thomas.

Heino Kuhn threatened to take control with 41 off 33, including three fours and two sixes before he was caught behind by Smit off Nipper. And at that point it was just about game over.

SCOREBOARD DOLPHINS

I. Khan st Mosehle b Van der Merwe 60

L. Bosman b Wiese9

A. Hall lbw b Joubert25

A. Amla not out85

D. Benkenstein st Mosehle b Van der Merwe27

D. Miller c Van der Merwe b Rudolph12

J. Louw c Rudolph b Behardien0

D. Smit c Behardien b Rudolph2

P. de Bruyn not out0

Extras (1lb, 14w, 2 no balls) 17

TOTAL (for 7; 40 overs) 237

Fall of wickets: 1/14, 2/72, 3/140, 4/181, 5/220, 6/222, 7/235

Bowling: Walters 6.1-1-50-0 (2nb, 3w), Wiese 8-0-46-1, Joubert 8-1-29-1, Van der Merwe 8-0-39-2 (4w), Du Plessis 4-0-20-0, Behardien 4-0-42-1 (7w), Rudolph 1.5-0-10-2

TITANS

B. Snijman c Kent b De Bruyn64

G. Bodi c Khan b Abbot 8

J. Rudolph c Miller b Thomas37

F. du Plessis st Smit b Nipper10

R. van der Merwe b Hall9

H. Kuhn c Smit b Nipper41

F. Behardien c&b Smit3

D. Wiese c De Bruyn b Hall18

G. van Buuren lbw b Thomas0

M. Mosehle c Smit b Louw6

P. Joubert not out1

Extras (4lb, 4w) 8

TOTAL (all out, 38.4 overs) 205

Fall of wickets: 1-52, 2/88, 3/110, 4/122, 5/150, 6/157, 7/193, 8/194, 9/202, 10-205

Bowling: Louw 5.4-0-36-1 (2w), Abbott 5-1-18-1 (1w), Thomas 8-0-30-2, Hall 6-0-41-2, Nipper 8-0-38-2 (1w), De Bruyn 3-0-16-1, Smit 3-022-1

Result: Dolphins won by 32 runs

Points: Dolphins 4, Titans 0

Man of the match: A. Amla (Dolphins)

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