Durban - The Dolphins claimed the big scalp of the Cape Cobras on Friday night as they beat the Momentum One-Day Cup’s top team by 71 runs to secure a home play-off.
With the Warriors losing to the Titans, the Cobras were guaranteed top spot on the log and a home final next Friday, but the Dolphins had to win to stay in the competition.
They did that comfortably in the end thanks to a comprehensive batting performance and some skilful bowling from their seamers, and they will now host the Titans in Tuesday’s play-off.
After posting 283 for six on the back of three half-centuries, the Dolphins never allowed the Cobras to build momentum in their chase and ultimately restricted them to 212 for nine.
The Cobras were hamstrung by the loss of Charl Langeveldt to injury after the veteran seamer had bowled just five overs, and struggled to find quality replacements as several bowlers proved expensive.
However the Dolphins deserved credit for exploiting the issue as they built a series of impressive partnerships that added up to a commanding total.
With the top three of Morne van Wyk (32), Imraan Khan (71) and Cameron Delport (43) all contributing, a solid platform was built for the middle order, and Cody Chetty (66) and Khaya Zondo (59 not out) capitalised.
Chetty and Zondo took 106 off the last 10 overs to leave the Cobras with a huge task, which became even trickier when Kyle Abbott and Graham Onions swung the ball at pace and forced the Cobras openers to make a circumspect start.
Craig Alexander came on at first change and dismissed Andrew Puttick and Yaseen Vallie, and although Stiaan van Zyl and Justin Ontong resurrected the innings with a 68-run stand for the fourth wicket, the required run rate continued to rise.
After Zondo broke the partnership by dismissing Ontong and Abbott got the better of Van Zyl, Alexander ran through the lower order to finish with figures of 5 for 42 and the man of the match award.