Knights drown Dolphins

2014-11-29 00:00

A BRILLIANT innings of 50 runs off 19 balls by Andre Russell, the Knights’ marquee West Indian signing, set up an impressive 39-run win over the Dolphins in Kimberley last night.

The dynamic Jamaican went on the rampage with just 27 balls remaining, hammering six sixes and helping the host to post an impressive total of 167 for five.

The shell-shocked Dolphins, in a must-win game, just couldn’t get started against a well-organised, efficient attack and collapsed to 128 all out three balls into the 19th over.

In reality, they were down and out by the halfway stage of the innings, having lost four wickets for 53 runs. Ironically, the Knights had not been in a much better position: they were 56 for two; and indeed, after 15 overs, the Dolphins’ position was 10 runs to the good.

But the difference was that did not have a Russell. They had Dwayne Bravo, and he put every sinew of his being into turning the situation around. But after whacking 16 runs off one Werner Coetsee off-spin over, he fell for 35 from 18 balls (3x4, 2x6), bowled by Shadley van Schalkwyk. It was nowhere close to the pyrotechnics of his Windies team-mate and it manifestly failed to repair the damage his own bowling had caused.

Russell came to the crease when the hosts were on a knife-edge at 89 for three in the 15th over, but he made sure there was a testing target by taking on Bravo, slamming four sixes off one over — an over that yielded 30 runs.

He was given good support by Reeza Hendricks, who had played a solid anchoring role in the early stages, and as the game opened up, he too got into the swing with a six and a four off Bravo before being bowled in the last over for 69 off 50 balls, including five fours and two sixes. Russell was run out off the last ball, which left Bravo nursing the painful figures of one for 50 off his four overs.

Having been put in to bat, the Knights had to work hard to gain what they could from a fast-changing attack. But Hendricks and Tumelo Bodibe worked the ball around well to compensate for the lack of boundaries. If they got a loose ball, they used it, with both notching a six, but those were rare occasions.

It took 56 balls to reach the first 50, and they were looking good for another 50 when Bodibe was lbw to Frylinck for 23 off 24 balls. The third-wicket stand had produced 63 runs from 52 balls and provided a platform for that incredible assault on the last five overs. From those 27 balls, 78 runs were notched.

It was over the horizon, as far as the Dolphins were concerned. All the Knights bowlers contributed. Russell completed a man of the match performance by hoovering up the tail for a tally of three for 17.

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