DURBAN – In the end, the rain won the Momentum One-Day Cup final.
As it so often has in Durban this season, the weather had the final say, and the Dolphins and the Warriors had to content themselves with sharing the 50-over trophy.
The rain had already spoilt a well-poised game on Friday night, before intermittent drizzle put paid to any play on the reserve day that was Saturday. There very nearly was a toss on Saturday, but drizzle just before 3pm put paid to that.
Match officials tried in vain to manufacture a match, even if it was reduced to 20 overs a side, but there was no change in the elements.
The Kingsmead outfield was sodden, and there were genuine concerns about the safety of players on a field that had taken a lot of rain.
Eventually, just before 5pm, the umpires abandoned the match, and the two coastal outfits each had a hand on the trophy.
The Warriors, who were ahead when rain stopped play on Friday, admitted that they were happy to be winners again.
“We have been runners-up twice last year, and there have been a few semi-finals before that, so it’s great to be back in the winners’ circle,” skipper Jon-Jon Smuts admitted.
“I wouldn’t say it is bittersweet (Friday’s rain) because there was still a Dolphins bowling effort to come, and we know that they are a quality side,” a chuffed Smuts conceded.
Update | In the case of no play taking place today, both teams will share the trophy. Lets hope it doesn't get to that !#DurbanDolphins#DolphinsCricket#BringItIn#MODC#DOLvWAR pic.twitter.com/I2psSYAWcL
For the Dolphins, it marked the end of a 16 year wait since they last held the limited-overs trophy. Their rain curse continued yet again this season, but Keshav Maharaj explained that they were desperate to play.
“The boys would have loved to get out there and play in a final, but it’s still a trophy in the cabinet nonetheless,” the Dolphins stand-in captain explained.
“We came off a frustrating season last year, where we got to playoff games and got knocked out, and we showed in the T20 that we are a force to be reckoned with.”
Maharaj also pointed out that they still felt in the game on Friday, despite being 154 for six.
“We felt that if we got to about 210, with a bit of weather around, we were still in with a chance. Unfortunately the weather gods were not with us, and then we didn’t even get on the park today,” he bemoaned.
Maharaj added that the trophy might spark a new era for Dolphins cricket, as they look to finish off an encouraging campaign in style, by challenging in the four-day competition.
“It has been a long time since we won the 50-over trophy, and about five years since the RAM Slam win, so hopefully this is the beginning of a new era, where we start to bring trophies to Durban more regularly,” he said cheerfully.
The domestic campaign resorts back to the red ball this week, with the sixth round of Sunfoil Series cricket commencing on Thursday.