Dane Vilas produced a sparkling innings of 91 off 68 balls as the Dolphins beat the Cape Cobras by 26 runs at Kingsmead in the Momentum One-Day Cup.
Vilas laid the foundation for a challenging target of 316, which proved too much for the Cobras as they struggled against an all-round bowling performance in the day-night fixture in Durban.
At last the Dolphins had a chance to play some cricket; their T20 series being blighted by rain and a final humiliation by the Titans. It seemed they had a point to prove, and they did so emphatically.
Martin van Jaarsveld took the senior role in an opening stand of 69 with Morne van Wyk, who eventually fell to the spin of George Linde on 24. Senuran Muthusamy (12) was bowled by JP Duminy, but the big blow came against the run of play at 151-2 after 30 overs.
Van Jaarsveld was in excellent form when, on 89 off 82 balls (11×4, 2×6), but his indecision cost him a deserved hundred. He cut square and set off, but he was too slow to complete his run and was run out just short of his tenth one-day century.
Vilas, who was at the other end when Van Jaarsveld was run out, immediately picked up the standard, racing to 91 with six fours and four sixes. He and Khaya Zondo (31 off 40) put on 96 for the fourth wicket until his innings was cut short by Ferisco Adams as he tamely tried to lob over mid-off in the 42nd over.
Thereafter the shackles were off, during which Mthiwekhaya Nabe took three wickets while 68 runs were scored in the remaining eight overs. Prenelan Subrayen made a useful contribution of 13 off four balls, with two sixes in the closing over from Dane Paterson.
The Cobras put up a valiant fight, headed by Richard Levi’s 68 off 72 balls; but once he was taken out, caught at mid-wicket by a great catch by Zondo, it became a roller-coaster. JP Duminy contributed 58 off 74 and Jason Smith, at No 7, added 56 off 49. But the Dolphins bowlers refused to allow partnerships to develop, while pushing up the required run-rate. The next highest score was Linde’s 22.
Mthokozisi Shezi was the most successful with 4-67 as the Cobras were bowled for 289 with four balls remaining.
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