Cape Town - Rory Kleinveldt announced his return to the Cape Cobras side with both runs and wickets to consign the Dolphins to a 64-run defeat at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead.
On a bowler-friendly pitch where no other batsman scored at more than a run a ball, Kleinveldt hammered 36 not out from 23 balls to take the Cobras to 235 for eight after they had won the toss and chosen to bat. He then picked up two key wickets as the Dolphins were rolled for 171.
The Cobras grabbed a bonus point as a result and moved to the top of the table with 14 points ahead of their final game of the first half of the competition, while the Dolphins go into the break on nine points.
In a refreshing match in which the balance between bat and ball was reversed, with seamers enjoying pace and lateral movement and the spinners extracting spin, Andrew Puttick’s patient half-century also proved crucial according to the Cricket South Africa website.
The Cobras innings began in overcast conditions, and Craig Alexander used the assistance to have both Richard Levi and Omphile Ramela caught behind in his first two overs.
Puttick carefully rebuilt the innings, putting on 84 for the third wicket with Justin Ontong (45) and then adding 68 for the fourth with Lesiba Ngoepe (39).
Playing only his second franchise knock, Ngoepe got his innings up and running with a swashbuckling six over long-off, before one straight hit too many landed in the hands of a fielder.
A mini-collapse followed as Puttick fell for 68 in the next over and Sybrand Engelbrecht fell soon after, but Kleinveldt’s three sixes provided a late burst.
The Cobras total looked promising at the interval and then appeared imposing after it, as their seamers made the most of the conditions.
After Cameron Delport was given out obstructing the field, Kleinveldt picked up the key wicket of Vaughn van Jaarsveld, forcing the batsmen who followed to go into survival mode.
When Daryn Smit and Robbie Frylinck came together in the 21st over, the Dolphins were limping on 44 for four, and although the pair provided a glimmer of hope with a 69-run stand, that was broken by Kleinveldt’s return as he had Smit caught behind for 34.
Frylinck fought on until he was eventually caught in the deep for 72 off the bowling of Wayne Parnell, but with nobody offering support the only question was whether the Dolphins could deny the Cobras a bonus point.
They couldn’t, as Parnell, Kleinveldt, Dane Paterson and Robin Peterson all finished with two wickets to their name.