T20 Domestic Cup
Delport shines in Dolphins win
Cameron Delport (Gallo Images)
Durban - Cameron Delport scored only the fifth century in domestic Twenty20 cricket as the Dolphins edged the Knights by 14 runs in their must-win RAM Slam T20 Challenge match at Kingsmead, in Durban, on Friday.
The opener smashed 103 from 58 balls, including five sixes and nine fours, to help the hosts post 179 for two, easily beating their previous season's best total of 136.
Delport shared half-century partnerships with David Miller (39 not out) and Ravi Bopara (30) on his way to the magical three figure mark, to join Henry Davids, Loots Bosman, Khayelihle Zondo and Quinton de Kock as the only domestic century makers.
In reply, Rilee Rossouw lacked support on his way to top-scoring with 44 as visitors the posted 165 for six to slip to a first loss in four games and a drop down to third on the log.
The Dolphins, who won for the first time this season, won the toss and opted to bat first as they sought to end a run of four straight defeats.
They lost Divan van Wyk (five) early, though, after he was excellently caught by Shadley van Schalkwyk at deep-cover off captain Johan van der Wath.
But Delport and Bopara came together and added a superb 83 for the second wicket.
They took their side past 50 in the eighth over, before all-rounder Delport went to the fastest 50 of the season in just 29 deliveries.
It was 77 for one at the halfway stage with the Dolphins then losing a second wicket when Bopara flicked Van Schalkwyk to Bosman at mid-wicket.
But Miller came in and provided the perfect foil for Delport - the two adding an unbroken 80 in just 7.5 overs, including 62 from the last five overs.
The visitors were in the game for most of the chase, even though they hardly threatened a runaway win.
Mthokozisi Shezi bowled Bosman for eight early, while Dean Elgar fell for 14, caught and bowled by Yusuf Abdulla, who picked up two for 17 in his first game for the Dolphins in two years.
Rossouw kept going at the other end and found a handy partner for the third wicket in Pite van Biljon.
The pair put on 46 together in 5.4 overs, with opener Rossouw falling to debutant Calvin Savage (2/41), while Van Biljon (27) fell not long after.
With their two key men gone and a brief interruption for a floodlight failure, the Knights seemed to have lost their way.
Obus Pienaar (32) tried to take them to victory, but they lacked any power hitting at the death and slipped to a third defeat of the season.