Sarel Erwee smashed a maiden ton as the Dolphins posted 231-2, beating the Cobras by 15 runs (DLS) in the first match of a double header at SuperSport Park.
Bolstered by the inclusion of Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander and Temba Bavuma, the Cobras were expected to walk over a Proteas-thin Dolphins side. But ill-disciplined bowling and fielding from the Cobras saw them decapitated.
Duminy won the toss, but it was a shaky start for the Cobras’ international opening pair, as Vernon Philander and Dane Paterson leaked 27 runs in two overs. Paterson conceded 19 of those runs, once again showing his inefficiency with the new ball.
But Philander was quickly back in the saddle, sending Morne van Wyk to the pavilion off the first ball of the third over after a quick-fire seven-ball 19 (3×4, 1×6).
Kolpak signee Dane Vilas’ introduction brought stability to the Dolphins’ innings, along with Erwee, as the pair struck 68 for the second wicket before Vilas lost his scalp to debutant Mthiwekhaya Nabe on 32 0ff 21 balls (6×4).
Erwee continued his anchoring start, reaching his fifty in 34 balls, and then powering forward to score the first century of the tournament, supported by his captain Khaya Zondo.
A career-best innings for Erwee, 103 off 58 balls (10×4, 5×6), and a 34-ball 64 (4×4, 4×6) from Zondo saw the Dolphins post 231-2.
The Cobras’ demise began with the fall of Richard Levi, Temba Bavuma and captain JP Duminy, which rattled the Cobras at 20-3 in just over two overs.
The game was now in Amla’s hands as his side needed more than 12 runs an over to magically salvage a win. A lighting and rain delay did not help the Cape Town side’s chances as the match was reduced – the Cobras needing 39 off nine balls to win.
Despite Amla finishing on a 27-ball 52 (4×6, 3×4) and Aviwe Mgijima on a 19-ball 37 (2×6, 3×4), the Dolphins claimed a 15-run win by the DLS method.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images