De Kock sparkles as Lions thrash Dolphins
The bizhub Highveld Lions overwhelmed the Sunfoil Dolphins by 54 runs in the final round of the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge round-robin stage at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Thursday.
Full Scorecard – Lions v Dolphins
The Lions now go through to the final of the competition, and, more importantly, also secured their passage to the elite Champions League.
The Dolphins, chasing 196 to win, made a terrible start, losing openers Divan van Wyk (6) and Cameron Delport (10) inside the first two overs.
As the run-rate required mounted, the Dolphins got increasingly desperate, and the Lions' attack, even without spearhead Sohail Tanveer, thrived.
Hardus Viljoen bowled full and fast (two for 22), and Chris Morris (two for 25) didn’t hold back either, as they pegged the Dolphins back with the new ball.
Cody Chetty (28 off 25 balls) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (22 off 20 balls) tried in vain to keep the Dolphins afloat, but once the latter was run out by a sharp throw from Alviro Petersen at cover, the game was up.
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Danger-man David Miller could only manage six before he was outfoxed by Imran Tahir, and it was left to skipper Daryn Smit (41 off 25 balls) to smack three sixes and as many fours, to add some respectability to their total.
The Dolphins eventually ended on 141 for nine, well short of their target, to complete a miserable campaign in the T20 competition.
Earlier, the Lions had De Kock to thank again, as he bludgeoned 97 off 61 balls to lift them to 195 for four, after the Dolphins had invited the hosts to bat first.
He and debutant Rassie van der Dussen rattled up fifty in just 33 balls, as the Lions made a brisk start.
De Kock was especially harsh on Cameron Delport, whose first over was hammered for 21, with three booming sixes for De Kock.
Van der Dussen eventually departed for 27, as he edged Kyle Abbott to the keeper.
De Kock reached a breathless fifty off just 31 balls, having carved five sixes in the process.
He added 85 for the third wicket with Alviro Petersen (55 not out), and Miller had to produce a bit of magic in the field to get rid of him.
Hurtling in at full pelt, Miller dived full-length on the long-on boundary to leave his Proteas teammate three short of what would have been a magical T20 century.
But he will have another chance in the final, which will also be at the Bullring, as the Lions aim to finish a season of dominance with some silverware.
BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: Alviro Petersen (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Gulam Bodi, Neil Mckenzie, Jean Symes, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Hardus Viljoen, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir.
SUNFOIL DOLPHINS: Cameron Delport, Divan van Wyk, Cody Chetty, Ravi Bopara, Dave Miller, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Daryn Smit (wk/c), Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj, Yusuf Abdulla, Mthokozisi Shezi.