The Dolphins conceded 12 runs off the last two deliveries of the match to lose their CLT20 opener against the Perth Scorchers by six wickets after just failing to defend the 164 off their 20 overs.
Kyle Abbott started the defence of the Dolphins total really well, boasting figures of 3-1 after two overs. His discipline put the Perth Scorchers behind the rate, as they reached 32-1 at the end of the powerplay.
Cameron Delport and Keshav Maharaj took the pace off the ball in the middle overs. However, the Perth Scorchers appeared to be pacing the chase perfectly. They needed exactly 60 off the last six overs and with eight wickets in hand, the equation favoured the Australian team.
The 16th over shifted the momentum of the match. Craig Alexander conceded just three runs and took a wicket to leave the Australians on 119-3.
The death bowling specialists, Abbott and Robbie Frylinck, bowled the last four overs. They did a great job, leaving Frylinck with 15 runs to defend off the last over. He hit the popping crease for the first four deliveries, meaning that 12 were required off the last two balls. The game seemed to be in the bag, but Mitchell Marsh cleared the boundary on both occasions to win the cliff-hanger by six wickets and break Dolphins hearts.
Earlier, the Dolphins recovered from a disastrous start to post a very competitive 164-7 in their opening CLT20 match against the Perth Scorchers. An exuberant start saw the batsmen throw their hands at anything with a touch of width. It didn’t pay off as the Dolphins lost three wickets in the first nine balls of the match.
Maharaj counter-attacked, trying to take advantage of the field restrictions. He looked good for his 29 before slicing a catch to the fielder on the third-man boundary. His departure left the Dolphins on 45-4 after 5.5 overs.
Not many teams can come back to win a match after losing four wickets within the powerplay, but the Durbanites showed no fear as they continued to play their shots. After 10.2 overs they lost their fifth wicket. Daryn Smit went for 21 to leave his side on 75-5. That brought Vaughn van Jaarsveld, the big gun in the batting lineup, to the crease. Unfortunately, he hit a full toss straight to mid-off and was on his way for just seven.
Kaya Zondo held the innings together at the other end. He nudged the ball around, rotating the strike, before exploding with four overs left in the innings. His unbeaten 50-ball 63, aided by a few lusty blows from the tail, took the Dolphins to 164-7.