The Sharks beat the Dolphins at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, in the Pick n Pay T20 match in aid of charity, “and charity won big at the end of the day”.
Let me be the first to say that we were treated to a festival of cricket and fun with both team’s players doing their utmost to give time to fans and at the same time try put up a spectacle worthy of these high class sportsmen, and so they did.
Amazingly it was some of the big fellows shining with either the bat, ball or in the field. Willem Alberts took a couple of brilliant catches and bowled well and then Franco van der Merwe went on the rampage with the bat as he smashed the Dolphins bowlers to all corners of the Stadium.
Although it took the Dolphins a while to warm up, but when they did, Khaya Zondo was particularly hard on Willem Alberts, putting on 16 runs in his second over (Alberts having conceded just four in his first).
The big hitting David Miller, fending off the fierce competitiveness of Jean Deysel, took 20 runs off one late over as the Dolphins looked to post a competitive total, one six hit right out of the stadium.
The Dolphins themselves went on the rampage as they smashed 60 runs in the last four over’s allowing the Dolphins to post a handy score for The Sharks to chase. David Miller and Divan van Wyk ending the innings of the Dolphins with a partnership of 74 runs off 39 balls, leaving the score at 183/5.
After Jacques Botes and Tera Mtembu opened the batting for The Sharks but fell reasonably early and at 14 / 2 it seemed The Sharks could be in trouble as they went in search of the mammoth total.
Enter Pat Lambie and like last year he showed great pedigree to put his team onto the front foot as he and Riaan Viljoen added a 50-run partnership before Viljoen went and was followed quickly by Deysel and Alberts.
Pat Lambie at this stage was on 49 after nine overs and well on his way and reached his 50 with a four, but was out next ball, having scored 53 off 33 balls with 8 fours and a six.
Franco van der Merwe came in and from then there was only one side in it. He followed up his quality bowling with some massive batting, striking three fours early on for a strike rate of over 200. He struck a six to bring his total to 19 off just six balls (strike rate of better than 300!) Unexpectedly, Frans Steyn anchored the partnership well, rotating the strike to allow for the big hitting Van der Merwe to hit six after glorious six.
David Miller bore the brunt, conceding 24 off just one over.
Steyn held his nerve while Van der Merwe took the bowlers to the cleaners and despite the Dolphins’ attempts to limit the damage with some slightly faster bowling, he wasn’t to be stopped.
Getting into his stride he surpassed the batting prowess of all around him and has certainly endeared himself to his team-mates as well as fans as we look forward to his role with The Sharks this year.
A worthy Man of the Match, he closed the game out with a powerful six with three overs remaining as he finished off with wonderful stats of 84 runs off just 27 balls (a strike rate of 311). During his innings, he struck 6 fours and 8 sixes.
What a fantastic day it was and one can only hope this spectacle is continued for a long time to come.
My wife went on the rampage herself as she took well over 100 pictures, but I am sure the few we added in the article would be enjoyed all the same.