DURBAN - The Dolphins capitulated heavily on the third day of their Four-Day Series, to slip to a five-wicket loss to the Knights yesterday. “This is definitely one of our most disappointing losses since I have been Dolphins coach,” Grant Morgan lamented.
Certainly, the Dolphins had their chances, even after losing eight wickets in a horror showing with the bat in the morning. Their last eight wickets fell for just 82 runs, as their much-vaunted middle-order went walkabout.
Man-of-the-match Duanne Olivier added four wickets to his four from the first dig, on top of the crucial runs that he made to get the Knights in touch with the Dolphins total. For the visitors, the third morning was one to forget.
“We tried to bat positively, and the guys went out playing their shots. To be fair, when you lose eight wickets in a session, you will struggle to win most matches,” Morgan sighed. “The difference in the match was that they took their chances, and we missed a few. When we had them 170/7 in the first innings, they fought back very well, and denied us a lead. Then, chasing 140, we had them 60/4. We gave them a few chances, and that proved to be the difference.”
When they had the hosts tottering at 60/4, the Dolphins reckoned they might still snatch victory from a match they had kept losing control of. Luthando Mnyanda provided the glue for the Knights’ chase, with a patient 62. Even then, he survived two chances, and those slices of fortune were capitalised on by his teammates.
The Dolphins also botched a run out, as the pressure built on the home side. Calvin Savage had blown a hole in the middle of the Knights’ side by getting rid of Pite van Biljon and then Patrick Kruger a ball later.
The visitors were favourites, then, but Ryan McLaren rode his luck to score a pivotal 40 not out. He might have played and missed as much as he connected, but fortune tends to favour the brave in tight matches.
VICTORY! A boundry from Rudi Second and thats victory for the VKB Knights against Hollywoodbets @DolphinsCricket with a day to spare. VKB Knights win by 5 wickets.#4DaySeries#KNIvDOL #ItsKnightTime pic.twitter.com/QS51dEtxY5
“They rode their luck a bit, but they deserved it. We sat down after the match for an hour and a half, assessing what we did. The boys are still upbeat, but obviously disappointed with the way that the result went,” Morgan bemoaned. “It is still very early in the season, though, and we know that there is a lot of cricket to be played. We just need to look at a few things, in terms of approach.”