Grant Roelofson powers Dolphins to second 1-Day Cup victory
JOHANNESBURG – The Proteas top-order may not be short of quality candidates, but Grant Roelofson is certainly ensuring that he is firmly part of any future discussions.
The young Dolphins opener continues to show his class on the domestic circuit by piling on the runs for his franchise. The 24-year-old played a pivotal role in powering the Dolphins to the Momentum 1-Day Cup title last season by topping the national run-scorers list with 588 runs and has now replicated that brilliant form again this year.
He struck 65 in the Dolphins' opener on Saturday against the Titans and followed it up with another impressive 92 against the Knights on Sunday at Senwes Park to ensure the defending champions cruised home by 53 runs.
The only real criticism that can be leveled at the KES old boy was that he was dismissed in a similar soft fashion on both days - caught in the deep off a short ball from a spinner - when the opportunity for a second List A franchise century was beckoning.
Possibly more concerning for the Dolphins, though, was that Roelofson struggled with cramp during his innings and never came out to field with former Proteas gloveman Mangaliso Mosehle doing duty behind the stumps as the substitute wicket-keeper.
Fortunately for the Dolphins they have a rest day on Monday after playing a two consecutive matches, which will hopefully be sufficient time for Roelofson to recover before their next game on Thursday.
Furthermore, Dolphins coach Imraan Khan doesn't have much to worry about with his team virtually having assured a place in the playoffs already after securing nine points from two matches.
The coastal side certainly have adapted quickest to life in the bio-secure environment with both their batsmen and bowlers performing splendidly. Khan will admit that the fielding remains rusty with a couple of chances going down again yesterday amongst a few sloppy misfields, but this will be off-set by the good form of some key inviduals for the Dolphins.
Proteas slugger David Miller spent some valuable time at the crease in compiling 57 runs off 66 balls, while veteran all-rounder Robbie Frylick not only slogged a rapid 37 off 18 balls but also opened up the game with a double-wicket over by removing the dangerous Andries Gous and Knights captain Pite van Biljon.
Meanwhile, the Knights will need to regroup overnight before they face the Titans on Monday. Both teams have yet to attain a positive result after defeats to the Dolphins and neither will want to be team rooted to the bottom of Group A.
There were some positives for Allan Donald's team like an enterprising half-century from Gous and a solid 45 from "Mr Dependable" Farhaan Behardien, but they will need to put together more long-lasting partnerships and restrict the amount of extras (20) they gifted the Dolphins if they are to push a Titans side that will also be eager to open their account.
Dolphins: 290/8 (Roelofson 92, Miller 57, Frylink 37, Snyman 2/52)
Knights: 237 all out (Gous 54, Behardien 45, Frylink 2/14)
Dolphins won by 53 runs