Tahir bowls the Dolphins to St George’s triumph

MODC

A five-wicket haul from Imran Tahir spearheaded the Dolphins to a solid 79-run win over the Warriors in a MODC cricket match at Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.

The win is the Dolphins’ second from three matches in the competition and although Tahir was the star of the show, the win was built around a strong team performance.

After the Dolphins overcame a mini middle-order collapse to post 250 for nine in their 50 overs, Tahir helped put the Warriors on the back foot when he grabbed two wickets in his first spell.

Then, just when the Warriors were threatening to make a game of it, the Pakistan-born leg spinner returned and took three more to wrap up the tail. He ended with the impressive figures of five for 21 from his 8.3 overs at an miserly economy rate of just 2.47.

Earlier Cody Chetty allowed the Dolphins to post a target worth defending when his undefeated 53 provided a backbone for the lower order to recover from a mini-collapse that threatened to turn the match into an early no-contest.

The 26-year-old’s 53 not out was worth way more than just the runs in the scorebook. He came to the crease in the 29th over with the Dolphins on 132 for four, after Morne van Wyk (25 runs), Sarel Erwee (26), Khaya Zondo (21) and Sibonelo Makhanya (13) failed to capitalise on their starts.

Cody could then only watch from the non-striker’s end as Senuran Muthusamy (31) and Robbie Frylinck (0) departed within two ball of each other as the Dolphins stumbled to 141 for six in the 32nd over.

He then spent 92 valuable minutes at the crease as he fended off 69 balls and, together with Calvin Savage (25) and Prenelan Subrayen (34), took the Dolphins score up to 250 which allowed his bowlers to at least have a decent target to defend.

Frylinck and Imran Tahir both failed to score, while Attie Maposa did not get out to the crease after Tahir was bowled off the final ball of the Dolphins innings. However, the trio made up for their complete lack of runs by decimating the Warriors top order.

Frylinck made the first breakthrough when Gihahn Cloete edged the burly right arm seamer to first slip in the fifth over. Then, just when the Warriors looked to be getting into a strong position, Maposa and Tahir ripped the top order to pieces.

The pair took two wickets apiece as the Warriors stumbled from 59 for one to 72 for five in the space of just more than four overs. Colin Ackermann was the first to go when he nicked one to keeper Morne van Wyk off Tahir, and then Van Wyk was on hand once more to pouch an edge by Lesiba Ngoepe off Maposa’s bowling.

Ngoepe (44 off 56 balls) was looking particularly dangerous at the time and his wicket was vital in getting the pendulum to swing in the Dolphins’ favour. The Warriors quickly sunk into trouble when Tahir bowled Yaseen Vallie in the next over, and five balls later Christiaan Jonker could do nothing as a Maposa delivery stayed low and uprooted his stumps.

A 54-run partnership between Warriors captain JJ Smuts and Simon Harmer gave the home crowd some hope, but when Savage trapped Harmer in front for 27, it was clear hope was all that was left – and that was all but doused when Clayton Bosch was run out and Andrew Birch was caught by Savage off Tahir in successive overs.

Two overs later Tahir wrapped things up when first Van Wyk caught Sisanda Magala, and then Zondo held on to dismiss Smuts and put the Warriors and their fans out of their misery.

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