Lions’ trio pour cold water on Dolphins’ hopes

2013-02-23 00:00

ANYONE trying to explain cricket to someone would have been hard pressed to make any sense of the Dolphins against Lions RAM SLAM T20 Challenge match at Kingsmead last night.

It was a low scoring affair with the Lions securing their third successive win in the campaign, getting home by seven runs in a match where the Dolphins were left rueing a missed opportunity.

The home side was chasing a modest 130 to win after skittling the Lions for 129 in 18.2 overs, thanks to an inspired spell of seam bowling from Robbie Frylinck who bagged his first five-wicket haul, finishing with 5-16 as the Lions lost six wickets for 12 runs, plummeting from 117-5 to 129 all out.

It was Frylinck’s best figures in domestic T20, bettering his 4-28 against the Impi side in Pietermaritzburg last season. It was the third best bowling figures ever in the competition and the best T20 figures by a Dolphins player. He was backed-up by off-breaker Prenelan Subrayen (2-34) and quickie Mthokozisi Shezi (2-18).

Winning the toss, the Dolphins opted to field on a pitch which offered something for batsmen and bowlers, with solid bounce and carry. Subrayen opened the bowling for the Dolphins and was promptly dispatched for four off his first and third balls by the fearless Quinton de Kock. Maintaining a healthy run rate, the Lions reached 50 in 6.3 overs, losing de Kock (19) caught one-handed at backward point by David Miller; and Gulam Bodi (1) caught at mid-wicket by Ravi Bopara with his first touch of the ball.

Temba Bavuma (20) and the evergreen Neil McKenzie (56) shared a 57-run partnership for the fourth wicket before the wheels came off and the rest of the batting collapsed. Frylinck struck three times in his third over, taking three wickets to have the Lions reeling.

At just over six runs an over, the match was there for the taking by the Dolphins.

Instead, it was a laboured display as it seemed some batsmen battled to come to terms with the quick scoring needed in this format of the game. After 10 overs, the pressure was already on with only 37 runs on the board, opener Jonathan Vandiar taking 36 balls for his 19. Immense pressure was put on the rest of the batsmen and although Vaughn van Jaarsveld (26 from 21 balls) and Miller (41 from 34 balls) gave some hope, it proved a bridge too far as the Dolphins finished on 122-8. Frylinck smacked the last ball back over the bowler for six but the moment was lost in the bitter taste of defeat.

Subrayen coming in at number five for the Dolphins was a massive failure, bowled by Imran Tahir without scoring and Bopara’s unnecessary run out for a single gave an indication of the pressure the Dolphins were under.

Take nothing away from the Lions bowlers. Chris Morris was magnificent in curtailing the batsmen, getting 2-14, while Hardus Viljoen generated serious pace in claiming 1-28. Spinner Aaron Phangiso weighed in with 2-20 and as the floodlights were switched off, Dolphins players and fans were left wondering what the heck had gone down and how vital the four points they lost would yet prove as the competition unfolds.

For the Dolphins, it’s time to pack their bags and hit the road for matches against the Cobras, Knights and the Warriors in the coming week. Perhaps the rain washing out matches for the Dolphins is a blessing in disguise … at least they get two points.

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