Miller goes on a rampage as Dolphins defeat Titans by 31 runs

2014-02-07 00:00

TAKE a bow David Miller.

In fact, give him the freedom of Durban as the Dolphins march to Newlands for the final of the Ram Slam T20 against the Cobras on Sunday and secure a place in the Champions League later this year.

This after a 31 run play-off win against the Titans at Kingsmead last night in a match that saw the Dolphins prove their worth as one of the best teams in the competition this season.

No one at the game will forget his majestic display of powerful, brutal, yet controlled hitting as he propelled the Dolphins to 200-4 with an innings of 93* from 37 balls with six boundaries and nine sixes in the play-off against the Titans. His last 80 runs came from 24 balls and he shared in a record domestic T20 fifth-wicket partnership of 120* from 44 balls with Vaughn van Jaarsveld (22*) from 15 balls.

He murdered spinner Roelof van der Merwe in his last over, the 18th of the innings, smashing 34 runs (6, 6, 6, 4, 6, 6), the highest number of runs in an over in South African domestic T20 cricket. He reached his fifty from 26 balls, depositing Van der Merwe over deep mid-wicket to reach the milestone. Three of his hits were out the park — two disappearing over the West Stand and one, the biggest of them all, bouncing on the roof of the South Stand as bowler Albie Morkel stood and watched.

The Dolphins had been on the edge of an all too familiar collapse at 80-4 after 12.1 overs, when Miller and Van Jaarsveld took charge. Miller’s attack saw 92 runs scored in the last five overs and besides Van der Merwe’s over, the 20th over yielded 22 runs as spinner Saeed Ajlmal was taken to the cleaners.

Earlier, Titans skipper Henry Davids asked the Dolphins to bat on what looked a good batting strip. Dolphins skipper Morne van Wyk (21) and Cameron Delport (34) set a solid platform with 51 for the first wicket, 48 of those in the six-over powerplay, but the Titans struck back, dismissing Cody Chetty (13) and Daryn Smit (1) in quick succession to be back in the game.

That’s where it ended for them as all their bowlers were punished. Morkel, Ajmal, Davids and Wiese were the wicket-takers, while Van der Merwe and Ethy Mbhalati went for 11,75 and 17,50 in their four over spells.

In reply, the Titans innings was held together by Heino Kuhn, whose 76 from 39 balls kept the Titans in the hunt. He fought a lone battle, with Mangoliso Mosehle (31), Farhaan Behardien (22) and Theunis de Bruyn (23) the only other contributors of note.

The turning point was Mthokozisi Shezi’s fourth over, in which he took three wickets in four balls as the Titans lost four wickets for nine runs. He finished with 4-39 in his spell.

Robbie Frylinck was again spot-on with the ball, taking two successive wickets in his last over to finish with 3-26 as the Titans were bowled out for 169 in 19.2 overs. The Dolphins spinners came in for some stick but it was the win that counted and a final in a domestic competition that mattered most.

Deliverer of the day was Shezi, while Miller was the slammer of the day.

Sunday’s match will be telecast from 1.55 pm on SuperSport 2 and SuperSport 2HD. Monday has been set aside as a reserve day if inclement weather prevents any play.

Scores in brief

Dolphins 200/4 (20/20 ov); Titans 169 (19.2/20 ov)

Dolphins won by 31 runs.

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