Dolphins’ Andile Phehlukwayo celebrates his half century with Senuran Muthusamy during their Momentum One Day Cup game against the Titans at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Dolphins’ Andile Phehlukwayo celebrates his half century with Senuran Muthusamy during their Momentum One Day Cup game against the Titans at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Dolphins beat Titans in opening match of MODC

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Jan 9, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG – Senuran Muthusamy delivered a fine all round performance as the Dolphins got the defence of their Momentum One-Day Cup title off to the perfect start in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

Muthusamy top scored for the Dolphins and then picked up two wickets on a sluggish surface at Senwes Park in the opening match of this season’s One-Day Cup competition, the schedule of which has been reduced owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The six franchises have been divided into two pools of three, with the Pool A fixtures taking place over the next week. The Pool B fixtures will follow from January 22, with the semi-finals and final taking place in the first week of February The top two sides from each Pool qualify for the semi-finals.

All the matches will be played in a bio-secure environment in Potchefstroom.

Muthusamy’s performance was the main highlight in what was otherwise a match in which the major feature was the poor fielding from both sides. Numerous catches were dropped, there was a plethora of errors on the ground with players still feeling the effects of not having played for three weeks following the postponement of the Four-Day Series last month

The Dolphins were reduced to 79/4 by the 16th over after the Titans had chosen to field first at a ground where chasing is the norm. However the pitch for the opening match wasn’t conducive to fluent strokeplay, the pace was slow and the bounce grew increasingly inconsistent as the day unfolded.

It took Grant Roelofson and Andile Phehlukwayo, to steady the Dolphins’ ship with a 54-run stand for the fifth wicket. Following Roelofson’s dismissal to a good catch in the deep by Junior Dala - which was one of the rare moments of quality in the field - Phehlukwayo, batting maturely, and Muthusamy added 50 for the sixth wicket.

Phehlukwayo, having just brought up his fifty with a beautiful cover drive then played a loose drive to the Titans’ new signing Kyle Abbott, scooping the ball Thando Ntini at mid-off.

Fortunately that error didn’t prove too costly for the Dolphins, with Muthusamy biding his time smartly and then unleashing some mighty blows in the last five overs of the innings, to propel the Dolphins to a winning total.

In that period the Dolphins scored 49 runs, with Muthusamy hitting 28 of those off the last 14 balls he faced. The Titans’s ‘death bowling’ was very poor, with few yorkers and more attempts at bowling the ball into the surface.

Their pursuit of that hefty target, never got going because none of their batsmen came to terms with the sluggish nature of the pitch.

The Dolphins bowlers deserve credit; they mixed up their pace well, but more importantly, they were very accurate, targeting the stumps and not giving the Titans batsmen any room to free their arms. The Dolphins earned a valuable bonus point for the margin of their win.

They will be back in action on Sunday, when they face the Knights. That match starts at 10am.

SCORECARD

Dolphins 272/7 (Muthusamy 70*, Roelofson 65, Phehlukwayo 51. Galiem 2/22, Ntini 2/62)

Titans 196/8 (De Swardt 3/30, Muthusamy 2/39)

Dolphins won by 76 runs

@shockerhess

IOL Sport

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