THE Sunfoil Dolphins had their unbeaten run in the Momentum One-Day Cup ended in the most unlikely fashion, as two tail-enders carried the Chevrolet Knights to a shock two-wicket victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Wednesday.
A fourth Dolphins victory seemed a certainty when the Knights fell to 141 for eight with 10 overs remaining as they chased 232 from 48 overs.
However, Dillon du Preez and Quinton Friend had nothing to lose and played as such, hammering seven sixes between them as they saw the Knights home with 17 deliveries to spare.
It was a quite remarkable turnaround from a team who had previously won just one game all season, and it kept their admittedly small chances of qualifying for the play-off alive.
The Dolphins’ performance was effectively a team effort that lacked an outstanding contribution, with Khaya Zondo’s unbeaten 50 the top score in a total of 223 for six from 48 overs.
The home side won the toss and elected to bat first at Sahara Park Kingsmead, and saw all but one of their batsmen reach double figures in an innings that was disrupted by lightning after 43 overs.
That forced the match to be reduced to 48 overs per side and so the Knights’ target was revised to 232 during the innings break - a score that they didn’t look likely to achieve despite wicketkeeper-batsman Lefa Mosena scoring 55 on his franchise debut.
With Craig Alexander claiming three wickets in his opening spell the Knights fell to 63 for four and seemed destined for a heavy defeat - despite Mosena’s efforts to stabilise the innings with his patient 102-ball knock.
However, Du Preez and Friend had other ideas, with the former crunching an unbeaten 56 from just 31 balls and the latter finishing 34 not out from 14 deliveries.