Hollywood Bets Dolphins 231/2
World Sports Betting Cape Cobras 108/3
Dolphins won by 15 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis Method.
Sarel Erwee had already gotten to 89, it was the last ball of the 18th over, his team were in a dominant position, so why not uncork a reverse paddle? And why not get that shot so sweetly correct that it sailed over the third man boundary for six? So what if the bowler was Vernon Philander.
This format shows no respect to bowlers, and when you’re in the kind of form Erwee’s been in this season, there’s no need to bow to anyone’s reputation - Protea or not.
Erwee registered his maiden T20 century, a sparkling effort that propelled the Dolphins to a new record total for the shortest format locally eclipsing the 230/5 the Titans notched up against the Highveld Lions here last season.
Erwee had set off on his merry way by belting the second ball of the game - bowled by Philander - onto the grass bank over midwicket. Two balls later he was dropped by the bowler in his follow-through, in what would turn into an expensive miss for the Cobras.
Erwee’s been in excellent form in the Sunfoil Series, scoring two centuries, and whatever rhythm he found there was transferred to the shortest format Sunday, with the extra addition of an array of delicious reverse flicks, and vicious pulls and drives.
He along with opening partner Morne van Wyk (19, 7b, 3x4, 1x6) gave the innings a rapid start scoring 27 in the first two overs, and there was no let up thereafter as, but for a brief period midway through the innings, the Dolphins maintained a scoring rate of 10 or more runs an over.
While the Dolphins’ intent was worthy of praise, the Cobras too were complicit in their own downfall with a staggeringly poor display with the ball and a lethargic showing in the field.
While rookie Mthiwekhaya Nabe’s use of the short ball was probably overdone, at least there was evidence of a plan. The rest, Philander included, lost their lengths and lines too often, allowing Erwee and later Dolphins skipper Khaya Zondo to dictate terms.
Erwee brought up his landmark with a thunderous blow over long-on in the final over - again Philander was the bowler - to the delight of a good crowd who’d filed in for the first game of Sunday’s RamSlam double-header. Erwee finished unbeaten on 103, his innings taking up 58 balls, and including five sixes and ten fours.
Zondo’s was an effervescent innings of 67 (34b, 4x4, 4x6) full of cheeky running between the wickets - he showed total disdain for the Cobras’s boundary fielders - and as the innings concluded there was some booming hits, two of which were snaffled with one hand by folks in the crowd giving them a share of R2-million forwarded by the competition’s sponsors.
The Cobras lost three wickets inside the first three overs, before Hashim Amla and Aviwe Mgijima restored them to within touching distance of the required rate, until the rain came. Following a 75-minute delay, the Cobras had to chase a revised total of 124 - 38 runs off nine balls. And while they smashed a couple of sixes off the first three balls, Andile Phehlukwayo, produced a typically accurate final over to see the Dolphins home.