Dolphins beat Cobras by 15 runs
Opening batsman Sarel Erwee scored a sensational century to help the Dolphins to a 15 runs (D/L method) victory over the Cape Cobras in the first match of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge double header offering in Pretoria on Sunday afternoon.
Erwee ended his knock unbeaten on 103 off 58 balls which included ten boundaries and five maximums at an impressive strike-rate of 177.58 as the Dolphins put up the highest domestic T20 total of 231/2.
The other notable contributor for the Dolphins was captain Khaya Zondo who ended his innings unbeaten on 67 off 34 balls which included four boundaries and maximums while Morne van Wyk and Dane Vilas scored 19 and 32 respectively.
Cobras captain JP Duminy won the toss and elected to field and the Dolphins made full use of the opportunity to bat on a good wicket.
The first wicket fell inside three overs when Cobras wicketkeeper Qaasim Adams caught Morne van Wyk’s slight edge behind the wicket from the bowling of Proteas fast bowler Vernon Philander‚ who continues to make a recovery from injury.
The Dolphins recovered well after the early loss of Van Wyk with Dane Vilas joining Erwee on the crease and by the end of the powerplay they had pushed their side to a respectable score of 63 runs.
The promising partnership of 68 runs between Erwee and Vilas came to an end in the tenth over when the latter was caught at wide mid-on by Proteas limited overs fast bowler Dane Paterson from the bowling of Mthiwekhaya Nabe.
Vilas was the last wicket to fall for the Dolphins and it was up to Erwee and Zondo to help their team to the 20 over mark with a partnership of 136.
To defend their impressive total‚ Zondo opened the bowling with spinner Keshav Maharaj to counter the ferocious batting of Cobras opener Richard Levi but he was removed when Vilas caught him at short fine leg from the bowling of Robbie Frylinck inside two overs.
Their problems increased in the third over when Proteas Test batsman Temba Bavuma returned to the pavilion having scored only six runs after he was caught by Sibonelo Makhanya at point from the bowling of Keshav Maharaj.
It moved from bad to worse a few overs later when Duminy was run out by Prenelan Subrayen‚ leaving the Cobras sitting dangerously on 20/3 and faced with a mountain to climb to get back in the game.
Rain delayed the match for one hour and fifteen minutes with Cobras on 86/3 after 8.3 overs‚ Hashim Amla and Aviwe Mgijima on 39 and 29 respectively.
When play resumed the target was revised to a mammoth 124 to win.
The Cobras needed 38 runs to win off nine balls and it proved to be too much as they ended on 108/3 and lost their first match of the season by fifteen runs.
Two spectators became the first to get clean catches in the crowd from the batting of Zondo to make themselves eligible to win a share of R2 million at the end of the tournament.