Miller magic does the trick

2011-02-05 00:00

Suddenly, the KZN Dolphins are on a roll, after they won their second straight Pro20 Series match last night, this time by 11 runs against the highly-rated Warriors at a soggy Buffalo Park.

Cricket and rain are not the best of friends, but the Dolphins have been going along swimmingly this week, thanks in some part to the rain gods timing their arrival almost as well as David Miller lashes the leather.

His undefeated 90 off just 57 balls almost single-handedly swung the match in the Dolphins favour, and some courageous bowling by the likes of Kyle Abbott, Jon Kent and the intriguingly named Yasar Arafat saw the Durbanites home in a tense finish.

But Miller’s knock rightly took centre stage, because it was as meticulous as it was murderous.

It is during knocks such as last night’s that one wonders if Andrew Hudson and his national selectors didn’t miss a trick when they opted for Colin Ingram instead of Miller as their ‘finisher’ for the World Cup.

The rest of the Dolphins batting card flattered to deceive, as Devon Conway (18), Loots Bosman (11) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (16) got starts and then fell tamely.

But Miller just kept on going.

“I am enjoying my role at the top of the order, because it allows me to build first, and then explode at the end,” he explained last night.

Explode he did, with an exhibition of clean hitting that gave the visitors a defendable total of 155.

Arafat then cleaned up a out of sorts Davey Jacob (1), and Kent had some serious help from Imraan Khan’s fantastic catch to get rid of Ashwell Prince.

When Miller then ran out a tardy Justin Kreusch, the Warriors looked out of it at 28 for 3. But Mark Boucher and JJ Smuts hauled them back, adding 83 progressively dominant runs to set up a tense finale.

But, just as the momentum was theirs, the rain came.

Crucially, Boucher was expertly stumped off the first ball after the resumption, and the Warriors never recovered their composure.

Smuts made a defiant 68, but he couldn’t do it alone.

With 26 required off the last two overs, Abbott produced a gem of an over, conceding just five to leave Arafat 20 runs to play with.

The new cap duly obliged and, just like that, the Dolphins find themselves just one win away from the semis.

And all this with Bosman bowling.

SCOREBOARD

Dolphins innings

D Conway c Prince b Ntini..................................................18

LE Bosman c Prince b Birch11

DA Miller not out90

VB van Jaarsveld c Birch b Meyer16

I Khan c Thyssen b Theron12

AM Amla not out5

Extras (lb 2, w 1)3

TOTAL (for 4 in 20 overs)155

Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-32, 3-73, 4-116

Bowling: J Theron 4 0 20 1, M Ntini 3 0 21 1, ACR Birch 4 0 39 1, JP Kreusch 4 0 28 0, N Boje 2 0 20 0, L Meyer 3 0 25 1

Warriors innings

DJ Jacobs b Yasir Arafat1

AG Prince c Khan b Kent7

JT Smuts not out68

JP Kreusch run out (Miller/Smit)2

MV Boucher st Smit b Maharaj43

CA Thyssen c Smit b Kent1

N Boje not out15

Extras (lb 3, w 4)7

TOTAL (for 5 wickets in 20 overs)144

Fall of wickets: 1-5 , 2-26, 3-28, 4-111, 5-112)

Bowling: JC Kent 4 0 18 2, Yasir Arafat 4 0 34 1, KJ Abbott 4 0 19 0, AM Amla 2 0 15 0, KA Maharaj 4 0 30 1, LE Bosman 1 0 9 0, DA Miller 1 0 16 0

Dolphins won by 11 runs.

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