Morne van Wyk celebrates 50 runs with Sarel Erwee as the Dolphins beat the Cobras at Newlands on Wednesday. Photo:Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – There will be many twists and turns, highs and lows, for this young Cape Cobras on their journey over their next couple of years.
 
On Wednesday night at Newlands – on a day when there was already despair in the stands after the Western Province Cricket Association cancelled all schools and club cricket due to the stringent water restrictions in the city –was certainly one of the lows.
 
Coach Ashwell Prince had lamented the loss of captain JP Duminy to the national team prior to Wednesday’s Momentum One-Day Cup semi-final. Not in his wildest dreams though could he have imagined what a massive loss it would actually prove to be.
 
For if he did, and admittedly hindsight remains the best sight, surely then he and his selection panel would have opted for an extra specialist batsman on the night. This selection faux pas cost the Cobras dearly, and ultimately a place in Friday’s final.
 
The Cobras were on the wrong side of a couple of lbw decisions – especially the first one against the tournament’s leading run-scorer Pieter Malan that started the rot – but the home side severely lacked a senior batsmen to stem the tide after the Cobras were reduced to 20/3 in the eighth over.

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Ironically, it was Duminy’s replacement Dane Piedt that battled valiantly with a 54 off 73 balls. However, for all Piedt’s grit and determination, the Cobras were bleeding violently and taping a plaster over it was not going the salvage the situation.
 
Opener Zubayr Hamza struck another breezy 26 without turning it into something substantial for third consecutive innings, while last man Dane Paterson entertained the faithful until the end with 29 off 30 balls (2x4, 2x6).  However, by that stage the horse had already been bolted and the Dolphins could start thinking of their trip back home for their showpiece against the Warriors.
 
“It was a good effort with the ball. We controlled them nicely and picked up a couple of wickets, so I thought we could get the 230 required. But I think being 22/3 killed us in the powerplay. There are a lot of young guys our squad and hopefully they would have learnt from this going forward in their careers,” Cobras captain Rory Kleinveldt said.
 
It was all so different for the home side at the dinner break. The bowling unit had given the Cobras a real chance of progressing to the final after bowling the visitors out for a below-par 230.
 
It was a sterling effort considering the Dolphins openers Sarel Erwee and Morne van Wyk had hardly broken a sweat in moving to 126 without loss in 24.4 overs. The Dolphins pair certainly enjoy batting against the Cobras after posting 161 against the Cobras in Paarl earlier in the competition.
 
However, after Morne van Wyk’s dismissal to George Linde (62 off 72 balls) it set in a collapse that saw the Dolphins lose four wickets for just 22 runs.
 
Piedt led the counter-attack, snaring the wickets of Dane Vilas and Sibs Makhanya and received excellent support from medium-pacer Mthiwekhaya Nabe, who bowled with good discipline to capture a career-best 3/39 in nine overs.
 
The Dolphins, though, had Sarel Erwee at the crease and the opener moved steadily along to 93 off 135 balls which ultimately proved the difference between the two sides. 



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