Wounded Dolphins seek Dragons’ blood in their second match in two days

MARQUES Ackerman of the Dolphins celebrates with teammates after a catch. | BackpagePix

MARQUES Ackerman of the Dolphins celebrates with teammates after a catch. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 7, 2024



THE Dolphins will play their second match in two days as they move from east to north when they come up against North West Dragons at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom today at 2pm.

The Dolphins’ chase for a top-four finish took a hit when they lost to the Lions by seven wickets in a rain-affected match that was reduced to nine overs at the Wanderers on Friday.

The untimely loss means that the KZN side have lost ground against their direct competitors, and the Lions with three straight victories are now on 30 points and boasting the tournament’s best net run rate.

The Dolphins may have lost in many ways as their top run-scorer in the tournament, Bryce Parsons, was stretchered off the field after he seemingly hurt his knee while fielding.

Parsons’ 36 off 13 balls after two overs put the Dolphins in the driving seat before he was dismissed by Cody Yusuf.

Parsons (with 284 runs), who spent most of the season second to Dragons’ Rubin Hermann (327), was replaced in second place by in-form Ryan Rickelton, who has notched up 326 runs.

Reeza Hendricks is hot on his heels on 275 runs and injury at this time will not only impact his team at the top of the order, but will also mean they lose a consistent run scorer.

They come up against a Dragons side in need of game time, as their last two matches ended without a result due to rain, and they’ll be hoping that their chances of a top-four finish have not been washed away.

Six points separate the third and the sixth teams on the table, with the Titans having the advantage of playing one less match.

The Pretoria-based side breached the defences of the Warriors when they broke their eight-match winning streak by beating them by 12 runs at St George’s Park on Friday night.

Lungi Ngidi returned to action after he was ruled out of the Indian Premier League due to injury.

The Proteas fast bowler made a timely comeback with the World Cup just around the corner and his experience will also bolster the Titans’ attack as they reach the business end of the CSA T20 Challenge.

The Titans will come up against bottom-of-the-log KZN Tuskers, who were beaten by the Boland Rocks by four wickets. Their sixth loss of the season means that only a miracle can save them from relegation.

Elsewhere, Western Province will go head-to-head with neighbours Boland Rocks at Newlands, also today at 2pm.

Province have had good performances here and there, but have failed to go on an extended winning run in the tournament.

Following their heavy 132-run defeat to the Lions, they now face a must-win encounter, with their third position hanging by a thread.

Province are on 21 points and a win for the sixth-placed Dragons, who are on 15 points, could drag them right into the mix.

It promises to be an exciting last few weeks in the tournament, which promises to throw up more surprises.