Miller blasts Dolphins into final
David Miller struck an astonishing 93 not out to send the Sunfoil Dolphins into the RAM SLAM final as they thumped the Unlimited Titans by 31 runs in their playoff match at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on Thursday.
Full scorecard: Dolphins v Titans
The left-handed Miller faced a mere 37 balls during his knock thanks to an astonishing display of power with his innings including six fours and nine sixes as the Dolphins posted a formidable 200 for four after being asked to bat.
The Titans could only muster 169 all out in 19.2 overs despite a superb knock of 76 off 39 balls, which included four fours and six sixes, from Heino Kuhn.
Left-arm seamer Mthokozisi Shezi ended with 4-39, which included three wickets in an over, while seamer Robbie Frylinck claimed 3-27 for the hosts.
The victory means that the Dolphins will play the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in the final in Cape Town on Sunday while the Durban-based team also qualified for the Champions League Twenty20.
Miller’s innings reached its zenith when he plundered 34 runs off an over from left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe in a sequence which read 6, 6, 6, 4, 6, 6 while he struck one monstrous six off the bowling of seamer Albie Morkel with the ball landing on the roof of the main grandstand at the Umgeni end.
The 24-year-old Miller made a relatively watchful start to his knock with 24 runs scored off the first 20 balls that he faced after the Dolphins had found themselves in a spot of bother as they slipped to 80 for four in the 13th over.
But Miller turned the match in the hosts' favour as he his next 69 runs came up off just 19 deliveries as he had the majority of the 3 675-strong crowd on their feet and cheering wildly for one of their favourite sons.
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Miller and Vaughn van Jaarsveld combined for a 120-run fifth-wicket partnership off only 7.2 overs at a run-rate of 16.36 runs to the over.
Van Jaarsveld was the junior partner by some distance but his 22 not out off 15 balls proved to be the perfect foil to Miller’s devastating batting.
The pair struck 22 runs off the 17th over of the innings, bowled by seamer Ethy Mbhalti, while they also plundered 20 runs off the last over of the innings, off the bowling of Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.
The Dolphins had made a solid start to their innings thanks to a 51-run opening stand between Morne van Wyk (21) and Cameron Delport.
Van Wyk was the first man out when he slapped a delivery from off-spinner Henry Davids straight down Kuhn’s throat at long-on.
Cody Chetty (13) looked relatively comfortable at the wicket before he played an ugly hoick across the line and was bowled by seamer David Wiese.
Delport played a few entertaining strokes during his innings of 34 off 32 balls with five fours but he failed to capitalise after being dropped with his score on 14 when he was caught at deep point after attempting to reverse slog-sweep a delivery from Ajmal.
Albie Morkel then returned to the attack to have Daryn Smit (1) caught at long-on before Miller took control of proceedings.
The Titans made a fine fist of their run-chase as Kuhn and Farhaan Behardien (22) smashed 71 runs for the fourth wicket off just five overs.
But when Kuhn was caught behind off the bowling of Shezi the Titans' brave effort faltered.
Shezi took the wickets of David Wiese (1), Albie Morkel (1) and Roelof van der Merwe (4) during the 16th over in a fine comeback after he had conceded 23 runs off one of his overs.
SUNFOIL DOLPHINS: Morne van Wyk (capt, wk), Cameron Delport, Cody Chetty, David Miller, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo, Daryn Smit, Robbie Frylinck, Kyle Abbott, Prenelan Subrayen Mthokozisi Shezi..
THE UNLIMTED TITANS: Henry Davids (capt), Heino Kuhn, Farhaan Behardien, Roelof van der Merwe, Graeme van Buuren, Albie Morkel, Theunis de Bruyn, David Wiese, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Ethy Mbhalati.