HollywoodBets Dolphins 163/8
Bizhub Highveld Lions 164/2
Lions won by 8 wickets
Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma displayed the necessary craft and precision to guide the home team to the final of the T20 Challenge here on Wednesday afternoon.
Before they got together in the fifth over of the Lions’ innings there’d been a lot of silliness from the majority of the batsmen on both teams.
It had started with a truly daft run out; Morne van Wyk trying to sneak a single when most of the players including his partner Vaughn van Jaarsveld was happy that the play was ‘dead’ and ending up 30cm short of his crease thanks to a direct hit at the bowler’s end off a diving throw by Bavuma.
That dismissal was critical in the outcome. The Dolphins opening pair had played superbly in putting on 54 in seven overs, pressurising the Lions new ball bowlers and providing the perfect platform from which a substantial target looked likely.
But that run out, and some smart bowling from Aaron Phangiso and Wiaan Mulder induced an error-prone period of play which would prove costly for the visitors. They lost six wickets for 49 runs in six overs, batsmen throwing away their wickets in sometimes bizarre fashion.
Like Cody Chetty, who carved a wide long hop by Mulder straight to deep cover. Or Dolphins skipper Khaya Zondo, who pulled a short ball from Mulder straight back to the bowler, or Senuran Muthusamy who after belting Dwaine Pretorius for six, hit a half volley to Phangiso in the deep. Van Jaarsveld wasn’t blameless in his dismissal either, slogging Phangiso to Nono Pongolo on the square leg boundary after scoring 47 (34b, 4x4, 2x6), the top score in the Dolphins innings.
The visitors needed their lower order to help get them to a decent total, with Andile Phehlukwayo (25), Rob Frylinck (13) and Keshav Maharaj (21*) all playing useful hands.
Phangiso was excellent picking up 1/19, with a typically controlled spell, while Mulder picked up 2/22.
The batting silliness didn’t end in the Dolphins innings; Reeza Hendricks clipped a middle stump half-volley to Muthusamy on the midwicket boundary and Ryan Rickelton, after playing some bruising strokes got himself in a tangle trying to pull Daryn Dupavillon, and was caught at mid-on.
Bavuma and Van der Dussen thankfully restored sanity; theirs was a partnership that cleverly mixed aggression and thoughtfulness, taking the Lions to a comfortable win, with eight balls to spare.
Van der Dussen’s good form continued, as he finished unbeaten on 69 (49b, 5x4, 3x6) while Bavuma, who has taken to this format in a way that has surprised many, was not out on 52 (37b, 2x4, 2x6). Their partnership was worth 112.
The final - the last match of the South African season - will be played here on Sunday.@shockerhess