Cape Town - Andrew Birch took three wickets and led a polished bowling
performance by the Warriors as they secured a comfortable seven-wicket
bonus-point win over the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in their T20 Challenge opener
at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on Sunday.
The fast bowler took 3/16 in an outstanding showing with the
ball by the visitors that enabled them to restrict the hosts to just 115/9
after they had won the toss and opted to bowl under grey skies on the east
Captain JJ Smuts then struck a controlled 54 (39 balls, 5
fours, 3 sixes) to take his side to a one-sided win with still 4.2 overs
Victory, however, was set up by Birch and his accomplices,
along with some poor shot selection from some of the Dolphins’ batsmen.
They exploited the conditions perfectly with Solo Nqweni
chipping in with 2/14 in 3 overs.
Four Dolphins batsmen managed to get into their 20s – Morne
van Wyk (22), Kyle Nipper (20), Cody Chetty (24) and Robbie Frylinck (23) –
although all of them failed to kick on.
The home side needed early wickets if they were to
challenge, but they instead conceded 17 in the first over.
Andile Phehlukwayo did take 2/3 to leave the Warriors on
26/2 at one stage, but that was as bad as it got for them as Smuts and Colin
Ackermann (41 not out) combined for a 78-run third wicket stand that took the
Eastern Cape franchise to a comfortable win.