Mak leads Warriors jig

2011-02-26 00:00

THE KZN Dolphins will have to do it the hard way from here on in, after the Warriors defeated them by four wickets in the first leg of the Pro20 Series semi-finals in Port Elizabeth last night.

Needing 19 off the last two overs, the tank-like Craig Thyssen clubbed 19 off five balls from Yasir Arafat — and that was that.

As hit-and-giggle spectacles go, the match was no classic. But inevitably the low-scoring affair served up hearty dollops of drama — with the Dolphins reaching for the tissues by the end.

Having won the toss, the Dolphins’ top-order again fell as one, with Makhaya Ntini running riot for the hosts.

His burst of three for 19 in four overs was critical and the Dolphins never fully recovered from that.

Loots Bosman may have considered himself unlucky, but deep down he will know that he fell into a trap. David Miller continued his curious patch of late, where he either scores big or doesn’t really bother.

By the time Devon Conway was bowled, the Dolphins were in tatters at 29 for three.

Ahmed Amla (52) played a fine hand, showing that there is still a place in T20 for normal cricket.

Vaughn van Jaarsveld again fell just when he needed to kick on, and the Dolphins total of 128 always looked under-par.

But on a pitch that was slow and stifling, the Warriors’ batsmen kept the Dolphins interested until the penultimate over of the game.

When defending such a modest total, a team needs to take every thing — even the half chances — that come their way.

The Dolphins, when they rise this morning, will know that they didn’t do so. And that may have made all the difference.

Jon Kent bowled cleverly, while the slow bowling of skipper Imraan Khan and Keshav Maharaj gave the Warriors plenty to ponder.

With the Warriors suddenly needing 50 off the last five overs, the Dolphins were slight favourites.

When Kent had JJ Smuts dropped on the boundary by a nervy Maharaj, it looked like that was the end.

But to his credit, Kent followed that up with a slower ball that snuck through to bowl Smuts — game on again.

During the round-robin campaign, the Dolphins had entrusted Kyle Abbott with the penultimate over, with reasonable success.

Last night they chose Arafat, and Thyssen helped himself to 6,2,4,6 to rid the match of any last-over drama.

One-down and now back at home, the Dolphins will know there is no room for error now.

Their top-order needs to get back in the runs and as a team they need to hold their nerve when the crunch comes.

There is the small matter of a Champions League slot at stake here, and that is no laughing matter.

SCOREBOARD

Toss: Dolphins

Dolphins innings

L Bosman c Prince b Ntini 13

D Conway b Ntini 16

D Miller c Boucher b Ntini 0

V van Jaarsveld c Theron b Smuts 31

A Amla not out 52

D Smit c Thyssen b Boje 4

Y Arafat not out 10

Extras: (lb1, w1) 2

Total: (for five wkts, 20 overs) 128

Fall of wickets: 1/18 2/18 3/29 4/92 5/104

Bowling: Ntini 4-0-19-3, Theron 4-0-25-0, Meyer 3-0-25-0, Kreusch 3-0-14-0, Boje 4-0-23-1, Kruger 1-0-7-0, Smuts 1-0-14-1 (1w)

Warriors innings

D Jacobs lbw b Kent 27

A Prince lbw b Arafat 5

N Boje c Conway b Kent 17

M Boucher b Khan 20

JJ Smuts b Kent 19

J Kreusch c Khan b Arafat 10

C Thyssen not out 22

L Meyer not out 3

Extras: (w6) 6

Total: (for six wkts, 18.5 overs) 129

Fall of wickets: 1/9 2/36 3/72 4/77 5/91 6/106

Bowling: Kent 4-0-25-3 (1w), Arafat 3.5-0-41-2 (3w), Abbott 3-0-24-0, Maharaj 4-0-15-0, Khan 3-0-16-1 (1w), Amla 1-0-8-0 (1w)

Result: Warriors won by four wickets

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