T20 World Cup | AUS vs SA: Familiar foes gear up to light up the Super 12 opener in unfamiliar territory
22 Oct 2021
It was a thrilling finish to the Cricket South Africa’s Provincial T20 Knockout tournament, which started out as the first tournament of the revamped domestic structure of South African cricket. Knights, a well established domestic giants beat another giant Dolphins by seven runs to be crowned as champions of the season’s first and only tournament where division 1 and division two teams played side by side.
Set a target of 177 to win for the Dolphins, the team from Durban were not able to recover from the early blows and by the time they did, it was almost too late to wake up. Dolphins lost two big wickets of Keegan Petersen and skipper Marques Ackerman early on the chase and then the re-build was started by two other senior pros in Khaya Zondo and Sarel Erwee. The two added 51 for the third wicket before Alfred Mothoa removed Erwee.
Though Bryce Parsons tried to build a partnership with Zondo and the duo added 26 for the fourth wicket, Zondo’s dismissal off the bowling of Nealan van Heerden was a big blow to Dolphins’ hopes.
However, not leaving the battle till it was done with, Parsons partnered Jason Smith and the two batters added 52 runs in just 37 balls to bring Dolphins as close as the fact that only 33 runs were needed in the last two overs to win. But with Migael Pretorius picking two wickets in two balls including that of Parsons, Smith was left with too much to do alone.
Although the 27-year-old did take strike on all the remaining 10 balls in the innings, Smith could only manage to get 25 out of the required 33 as his team lost the game by seven runs.
Earlier in the day, after being asked to bat first, Knights, with the help of opener Patrick Kruger's 61, Pite van Biljon’s 42 and quick-fire 28 and 29* respectively from experienced pros Rilee Rossouw and Farhaan Behardien, managed to get to 176-5 in their 20 overs. Pretorius for his figures of 3-30 and especially for picking two match-changing wickets was awarded Man of the Match.