Momentum One-day Cup wrap
A clinical seven wicket win for the Dolphins against the Highveld Lions, guaranteed them a top three spot on the final Momentum One Day Cup log with one game to play in the round robin stage this Friday.
Veteran opener Morné van Wyk was the star of the show as he continued to defy his age, when he put together a calculated 83 not out for the Dolphins as they chased down the 194 to win with six overs to spare.
The Lions won the toss and decided to bat first. The opening pair of Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks were circumspect against some relatively tight bowling up front from the Dolphins. The former was the first wicket to fall when he was dismissed for 20 off left arm seamer Athi Maposa.
Hendricks and his name-sake Dom Hendricks started to put together a promising partnership for the visitors before Reeza Hendricks was bowled by Prenelan Subrayen for a well-played 47. He was quickly followed by Wiaan Mulder who chipped one back to Subrayen for a duck.
The Lions were 92/3 in the 24th over with Dom Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen attempting to steady the ship. They added 39 for the fourth wicket before Hendricks became Subrayen’s third victim, chipping one tamely to SJ Erwee at midwicket for 42.
Van der Dussen didn’t last long after that; he was well caught at short third man by Athi Maposa attempting the reverse sweep on 23. That was the first of three wickets that Senuran Muthusamy collected on the day.
Kagiso Rapulana (24) and Ryan Rickelton (26) tried to give the Lions innings some momentum; however some good bowling through the middle overs from the Dolphins and regular wickets meant that the Lions went into the final ten overs on 161/5.
Muthusamy picked up the wicket of Rapulana in over 43 with the score on 185/6, after that it became a procession for the Johannesburg-based side as they lost four wickets for nine runs.
Two of the Dolphins’ spinners, Muthusamy and Subrayen bagged three wickets apiece, while Rob Fylinck, Imran Tahir and Maposa all took home one stick.
The chase from the Dolphins was not a rushed one as they knew a win would ensure them a spot in the top three. Despite this their chase started fairly poorly when they lost SJ Erwee early, and the Lions would have felt they were in with a shout if they picked up a few more quick wickets.
The experienced duo of Van Wyk and Vaughn van Jaarsveld put together a mature partnership of 73 before Van Jaarsveld was bowled by Wiaan Mulder for 41.
Dane Vilas came in next and tried to look busy until he was run out for three coming back for a second run. The Dolphins were 107/3 in the 22nd over when captain Khaya Zondo joined Van Wyk at the wicket.
Poise was the key for the pair as they chiselled away at the deficit and took their side over the line with six overs to spare.
Zondo’s 46 not out played a critical role in the 88 run stand between the two as they cruised over the line and give their side their first win over the Lions in white ball cricket this season.
The Dolphins travel to SuperSport Park Centurion on Friday to take on the Titans in their final game of the round robin phase of the Momentum One Day Cup.
Jon-Jon Smuts starred with bat and ball as the Warriors sealed their place in the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-finals by edging out the Knights by two wickets in a nervy affair at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday.
The home captain first took three for 31 as the visitors were bowled out for 216, before blasting a key 43 off 40 balls to help his side chase down their target with 56 balls to spare.
The four points gained for the win in what was effectively a knockout affair took the host to an unassailable 17 points on the table and eliminated the Knights and the Highveld Lions in the process.
Asked to bowl first after losing the toss, the men from the Eastern Cape struggled initially as the away side raced to 141 for two after 30 overs.
This was thanks to an excellent 70 (110 balls, 10 fours) by Andries Gous, but the Central Franchise then collapsed after their top-scorer fell shortly after the captain Rudi Second (23) departed.
Smuts, Colin Ackermann (3/31) and Sisanda Magala (2/41) then all struck key blows at regular intervals to leave the Knights all out in 49.5 overs.
To their credit, the visitors refused to throw in the towel and fought to the death.
After Gihahn Cloete (45) and Lesiba Ngoepe (25) put on 70 for the first wicket, the home side were left in trouble after three wickets by Ottniel Baartman (3/50).
Mbulelo Budaza (2/17) and Werner Coetsee (2/44) also strike twice each to reduce their opponents to 196 for eight.
But an unbroken 23-run stand between Ayabulela Gqamane (14) and Magala (nine) took them over the line in 40.4 overs.
They will now meet defending champions the Titans in the semi-final, although they must still play the Cape Cobras in their final league-phase match on Friday.
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