Durban - A splendid half century from captain Morné van Wyk, and an inspired spell of bowling from Cameron Delport shrugged off the disappointment of last Sunday’s defeat as the Dolphins ran out a convincing eight wicket win over the Knights in their T20 Challenge clash in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Having lost the toss the visitors from Durban might have felt some early pressure as the Knights openers put on 47 for the first wicket before trump card Delport was pulled from captain Van Wyk’s hand in the sixth over.
The wily medium pacer provided the Dolphins with the stability that they had been lacking with the ball as he returned with impressive figures of 3/26 which stifled the hosts as they threatened to get away after their strong powerplay.
Delport was ably supported by Proteas leg-spinner Imran Tahir who, despite not picking up a wicket, only conceded 30 runs in his four overs.
Left-arm spinner and birthday boy Kyle Nipper showed his worth when he bowled three overs for 22 runs whilst Rob Frylinck took the only other wicket and finished with 1/36 in his allotment of four overs.
Senior opening bowler Mthokozisi Shezi was miserly in his efforts with the ball in hand and despite the final over of the innings going for 11 runs he finished with three overs 0/23.
The Knights would have felt that they were a handful of runs short, and the Dolphins opening pair of Delport and Van Wyk put them to the sword from the word go as they motored along to 50 in a tad over five overs, before Delport (36) became the first victim to seamer Duane Olivier.
The momentum was with the men from KwaZulu-Natal at this stage, and when the wristy Cody Chetty joined captain Van Wyk the pair went on their merry way as they played wise, yet dominant cricket all but shutting out the Knights with a second wicket stand of 86.
In that time Van Wyk had moved past his half century before he was adjudged LBW to medium pacer Shadley van Schalkwyk for 56, however with 18 runs to win and 21 balls to get them the back of the chase had been broken.
Chetty’s knock of 46 not out was another positive for the Dolphins as he scored in quick time, only taking 38 balls to reach his mark, and in the end it was Khaya Zondo who put the game to bed with a boundary in the eighteenth over and the Dolphins won with nine balls to spare.
The T20 Challenge fixtures come thick and fast for the Dolphins who travel to Johannesburg's Wanderers to face the Highveld Lions on Sunday before returning home to take on the Titans at Kingsmead on Wednesday.