Opener Sarel Erwee struck a splendid 93, but a good fightback by the WSB Cape Cobras’ bowlers restricted the Hollywoodbets Dolphins to a disappointing 230 all out in the second semifinal of the Momentum One-Day Cup at PPC Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Having won the toss and put the Dolphins in to bat, Cobras’ skipper Rory Kleinveldt must have been concerned when Erwee and partner Morne van Wyk scored at just over five to the over in the first half of the innings as the visitors enjoyed a measured start.
Both men played sensibly on a good batting surface with Erwee striking some fluent cover drives and Van Wyk specialising, as always, in strokes square of the wicket.
The two men barely raised a sweat as they compiled 126 in 24.4 overs – which went nicely with their stand of 161 in Paarl against the Cobras earlier in the competition.
But it was at this stage that the entire tenor of the innings changed when Van Wyk went for a sprightly 62 in 72 balls (his 43rd List A 50), dragging on a delivery from left-arm spinner George Linde.
The veteran 38-year-old’s departure then led to a mini-collapse in which four wickets fell for 22 runs.
Offspinner Dane Piedt led the counter-attack, snaring the wickets of Dane Vilas and Sibs Makhanya in a fine spell in which his control, flight and pace variations were exemplary.
He received excellent support from all the bowlers as well as the fielders who pouched some superb catches.
Particularly impressive was medium-pacer Mthiwekhaya Nabe who bowled with fine discipline to capture 3-39 in nine overs, a career-best analysis in which all his victims fell to short-pitched deliveries.
It has to be said that the Dolphins were also their own worst enemies, with their two big guns, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Dane Vilas, tossing their wickets away.
Van Jaarsveld needlessly ran himself out and Vilas was bowled after playing an ill-conceived reverse-sweep off his second ball.
As the innings crumbled around him, Erwee was forced into playing a more conservative role as he attempted to bat through the innings.
Unfortunately for him, he perished in the 46th over attempting to up the run rate. His 93 came in 135 balls and included eight fours.
The left-hander will have been disappointed that he fell seven runs short of scoring centuries in all three formats this season.
WSB CAPE COBRAS: Zubayr Hamza, Pieter Malan, George Linde, Simon Khomari, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Aviwe Mgijima, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt (capt), Dane Piedt, Dane Paterson
HOLLYWOODBETS DOLPHINS: Morne van Wyk, Sarel Erwee, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Dane Vilas (wk), Sibs Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj (capt), Robbie Frylinck, Prenelan Subrayen, Athi Maposa, Mthokozisi Shezi