VAUGHN van Jaarsveld and Khaya Zondo rescued the Dolphins with a record domestic Twenty20 fifth wicket stand in their opening Ram Slam match against the Titans at Newlands yesterday. It was a match-winning effort as the Dolphins took the points with an eight-run win to get their campaign and the new year off to a positive start. The pair put on an undefeated 117 runs, coming together with the Dolphins tottering on 37-4 after eight overs having been asked to bat first. Van Jaarsveld smashed 82* from 56 balls (2x4, 7x6) and Zondo 41* from 33 balls (4x4, 1x6) as they took the total to 154-4. It was a total well defended by the Dolphins as they restricted the Titans to 146-7, taking the initiative from the beginning with the ball, led by Kyle Abbott, who conceded a single in his first two overs while claiming two wickets. The Titans’ David Wiese was murdered for 35 runs in his two overs as he missed his length and was deposited in the stands more than once by Van Jaarsveld, but he made up for his shortcomings with the ball by top scoring with 42 from 24 balls (4x4, 2x6) in the Titans’ total of 146-7. Best of the Dolphins bowlers was Abbott with 2-21 in his four overs and leg spinner Daryn Smit with 2-25 in his spell. The four points for the win is the ideal start for the Dolphins, who were out the running in the competition for most of last season as rain played havoc with many of their matches, resulting in their having to share the points. While satisfied with the win, Dolphins captain Morné van Wyk knows it’s just the beginning of the competition with much cricket still to be played. However, he was encouraged with what he saw. “We showed great composure and mental toughness to post the total we did and recover from the loss of four early wickets,” he said. “While there is room for improvement in getting stability to the top order, we still came away with a win away from home and it’s the confidence boost we need looking ahead.” Van Jaarsveld, who was omitted from the Dolphins squad for the last four-day game against the Lions in December “to allow me to rest ahead of the T20 competition”, played probably his best innings for the Dolphins in al long while, showing the form that saw him play three one-day internationals for the Proteas in 2008/9. “I feel very good after this knock. It was a struggle in the beginning as the ball was moving around quite a bit,” he said. “All I wanted to do initially was try to survive and once I was in, the ball started coming out the middle of the bat. “It was important to recover and build a partnership and thankfully Khaya [Zondo] came to the party. I thought it was a competitive score and we defended it well, never allowing the Titans to get above the required run rate.” The Dolphins head for Kimberley, meeting the Knights at the Diamond Oval on Friday, January 10, in the second round of the Ram Slam competition, the match starting at 6 pm. SCOREBOARD Dolphins innings C Delport c Behardien b Mbhalati7 M van Wyk run out (Wiese)4 C Chetty run out (Mosehle)9 V van Jaarsveld not out82 D Miller c Mosehle b Davids1 K Zondo not out41 Extras: (lb4, w4, nb2)10 TOTAL: (for four wickets, 20 overs)154 Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-12, 3-33, 4-37 Bowling: Van der Merwe 3-0-13-0, Mbhalati 4-0-35-1, Morkel 4-0-22-0 (2w), Davids 4-0-22-1 (1w), Richards 3-0-23-0 (1nb, 1w), Wiese 2-0-35-0 Titans innings J Rudolph c Alexander b Maharaj12 H Davids c Van Wyk b Abbott0 H Kuhn c Van Wyk b Abbott5 F Du Plessis c Miller b Alexander24 F Behardien b Smit19 A Morkel c Van Jaarsveld b Smit3 D Wiese run out (Miller)42 R Van der Merwe not out18 M Mosehle not out14 Extras: (lb5, w4)9 TOTAL: (for seven wickets, 20 overs)146 Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-8, 3-23, 4-56, 5-64, 6-65, 7-128 Bowling: Abbott 4-1-21-2 (1w), Alexander 3-0-17-0, Frylinck 4-0-42-0 (1w), Maharaj 4-0-27-1, Smit, 4-0-25-2, Delport 1-0-9-0 Result: Dolphins won by 8 runs.