DURBAN – The Dolphins had their colours emphatically lowered by the Warriors on Tuesday night in Durban, as they were trounced by eight wickets (DLS method) in their Momentum One-Day Cup match at Kingsmead.
The Dolphins had initially set them 245 to win in 50 overs, but a bolt of lightning, and then some unexpected showers, saw that target whittled down to 152 in 31 overs.
The Warriors, making a statement of sorts, got there with three overs to spare, thanks to some brutal hitting from skipper Jon-Jon Smuts.
He blazed 42 not out, after Gihahn Cloete (55) had made the early yards.
It was a bump back down to earth for the Dolphins, but their problems were of their own designs.
On a slow track, they won the toss and opted to bat first. They found the going tough, losing Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Sarel Erwee in the first 10 overs, and going under four an over.
That was also to do with perhaps the best fast-bowling attack in the country in Anrich Nortje, Lutho Sipamla and Sisanda Magala.
In tandem, they are capable of ripping through a team, with speed, skill and tactical nous.
Nortje is recently returned from injury, but he is already showing signs of the form that caught international attention during the Mzansi Super League.
He picked up 1/36 in his 10 overs, while Sipamla took 2/45 in nine overs.
But the hero of the hour was Magala, whose 5/59 allowed the visitors to rein in a Dolphins charge that was threatening to get out of hand.
Having been reduced to 85/4, David Miller (68) and Andile Phehlukwayo (68) shared a fifth-wicket stand of 104, looking more and more threatening with each passing stoke.
Miller fell just as the Dolphins would have hoped he would turn on the style, slapping Magala to cover. Phehlukwayo, who had cruised to a 72-ball 68, looks like a man in love with batting.
However, with a maiden century there for the taking – and his side needing him to kick on – he swiped across Sipamla’s length and missed.
Those were the breakthroughs that the Warriors were desperate for, because the two Proteas could truly hurt them at the back end.
With both gone, they restricted the Dolphins to 244, which was a manageable target under lights.
Low-scoring but still entertaining. An explosive 60 run partnership from captain JJ Smuts(42*) and Ngoepe(28*) gets the Warriors over the line, winning by 8 wickets via DLS Method #MODC pic.twitter.com/qpwCgetL4P— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 26, 2019
The storm rearranged their target, but they were never under threat from a Dolphins attack short of mongrel. Imran Tahir was tidy enough in his seven overs for 21 runs and a wicket, but there was no real pace about the home side.
They could only watch on as Smuts, in particular, bullied the bowling after the rain break.
The Dolphins suffered their first defeat, and will now have to regroup ahead of a meeting with the Knights.@whamzam17