The disappointment is clear on the face of Dane Paterson of the Cape Cobras as hope of a match dwindles during 2017 T20 Ram Slam semifinal between the Dolphins and the Cobras. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The Dolphins will go to Pretoria to take on the Titans in the final of the RAM Slam T20 Challenge.

That was confirmed by the fifth washout from six possible matches at Kingsmead this season, as an incredible run of coincidental weather continued to curtail premier cricket in Kwazulu-Natal.

It rained in patches throughout Thursday, but the real stuff fell around 5pm, just as hopes for action were at their highest.

The most activity that the Kingsmead crowd saw was from a bunch of merry Varsity delinquents from Maritzburg, who managed to get onto the sopping outfield and play a hastily prepared game of action cricket.

Match referee Barry Lambson soon had them off, but they clearly had accepted the fate of the semi-final long before a crowd of 6000 had.

In the changerooms, the Cobras cut increasingly infuriated figures, hapless to the curse of Mother Nature. The Dolphins watched wearily on, observing an all too familiar sight this term. 

Shortly before 8:30pm, the officials finally abandoned ship, calling off proceedings and sending the Cobras back to Cape Town with nothing but regret.

They will look back on a slow start in the competition - when they lost three straight matches - and then on the final match of the round-robin stage, when they went in short of specialist batters, and banked in their top-order seeing them home.

They came short, and ending up flying to Durban instead of hosting a semi-final.

To be kicked out without a ball bowled was a real kick in the teeth, but on such oversights are matters such as these decided.

The Dolphins went on a lap of gratitude, thanking those die-hards who had braved the rain in the hope of action. They stopped a while at Castle Corner, home of the delinquents, and enjoyed a song or two.

No blame can be attached to them; they don't make the rules that see them through to the final despite hardly getting into form.

They face an extremely tall order on Saturday, as they face a star-studded and stern-faced Titans side. 

AB de Villiers and company made mincemeat out of the Warriors on Wednesday, as they barely broke a sweat in chasing 144.

The Titans have also been annoyed by whispers from certain corners that they didn't try as hard as they might in the final round of fixtures. They shouldn't care less, of course, but you can get that they will hold nothing back in the decider.

 There will be no surprise if the defending champions wipe the floor with the Durbanites at Centurion, but the Dolphins are banking on being the party poppers.

“We want to be known as the bogey side of South African cricket... the Pakistan,” coach Grant Morgan has said this season.

Pakistan, by their kamikaze nature, often do the unexpected. The Dolphins, then, would produce the most unexpected of results if they beat a team dripping with international stars.

Then again, no one would have expected the Dolphins to make it into the final having only completed five games from 11 fixtures.

On Saturday, they will look to invoke the spirit of Pakistan, and dare to dream the unthinkable, by sinking the supposedly unsinkable. 


IOL Sport

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