MiWay T20 Challenge

Dolphins finish top of log

2011-02-20 18:30
Loots Bosman (Gallo Images)
Durban - The Nashua Dolphins survived a late innings stumble when they lost 3 wickets for 1 run to beat the bizhub Highveld Lions by 3 wickets at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Sunday and finish top of the Standard Bank Pro20 log.

This was the final game of the league phase and the Dolphins will now face the fourth-placed Chevrolet Warriors, who are the defending champions, in the one semi-final while the other semi-final matches the second-placed Nashua Titans against the third-placed Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras.

If either semi-final goes to a third leg then the Dolphins and the Titans will enjoy home ground advantage in the extra match.

The final will be hosted by the side with the higher log position of the two qualifiers.

The Dolphins finished on 16 points, having won 4 of their 5 matches, with the Titans on 13 and the Cobras and Warriors both on 12. The Cobras achieved the higher log position as they won the league match between the two franchises.

Sunday’s match produced cricket of the highest calibre with Loots Bosman of the Dolphins being named Standard Bank Master Blaster batsman for his innings of 42 off only 19 balls with 5 sixes while Lions captain Alviro Petersen made a career best 84 not out off 54 balls with 4 sixes.

The latter’s partnership of 117 for the 2nd wicket off 78 balls with Gulam Bodi was a record for any wicket in this format in franchise competition.

Kyle Abbott was named Standard Bank Master Blaster bowler for his figures of 2/17 in 4 overs that included a critical penultimate over of the innings that only went for 3 runs and in the final analysis had a big bearing on the outcome.

The Lions made a highly competitive 156/3 and the Dolphins, after looking like coasting at one stage, suddenly collapsed from 143/4 to 144/7 that included an inspired double maiden wicket for Alfonso Thomas with the only run coming off a leg bye.

But the Dolphins had the man for the moment in Daryn Smit who struck 12 runs off the first 4 balls of Zander de Bruyn’s final over (there was also a wide), including 2 boundaries to get the Dolphins across the line with 2 balls to spare.

It was the first time in this season’s competition that the Dolphins batted second but it made little difference to their power hitters. Bosman, David Miller and Vaughn van Jaarsveld have between them produced the goods when required.

As for the Lions they will look back on a competition which just wasn’t meant for them this season. Last season they reached the final and this time they lost 1 match off the last ball and another with 2 balls to spare. In addition their match against the bottom-placed Chevrolet Knights was washed out.

They have nevertheless produced an emerging star in Ethan O’Reilly who has had one of the best economy rates in the league phase in spite of bowling exclusively in the power play and at ‘the death’. His Yorker to bowl David Miller on Sunday was clocked at 142.5km/h and put the Lions into the last chance saloon until Smit produced his last over heroics.

O’Reilly has also shown an ability to take wickets up front which is vital in any format of the game.

Read more on:    pro20

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