Durban – An innings of individual brilliance from The Unlimited Titans’ Mangaliso Mosehle handed his side a seven wicket win and denied the Sunfoil Dolphins the opportunity to lift the 2015/16 RAM SLAM T20 Challenge trophy at the competition’s final at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Saturday, 12 December.
The Titans number three’s innings of 87 off just 39 balls single-handedly swung the game in the hosts’ favour as he consistently dispatched all who bowled at him to the ropes to take the game away.
“It was a bit of a letdown not even getting close and it was disappointing in the fact that it wasn’t the best performance we could’ve put in, certainly with the ball,” said Sunfoil Dolphins captain Morné van Wyk.
“Finals are tough in the sense that when you lose its usually close and then there are always the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ but this time there almost weren’t any ‘ifs’ and buts’, the door was just shut on us completely!” he added bluntly.
After being sent in to bat, the Dolphins started steadily as openers Van Wyk and Vandiar posted 49 for the first wicket in 7.3 overs.
A sluggish middle period however stunted their progress greatly and, despite a last minute assault from David Miller (33 off 25) and then Dwayne Bravo (53 off 30), a total of 159/5 was all the men from Durban could muster.
The early wicket of Quinton de Kock (12) gave the visitors some hope however the arrival of Mosehle and his subsequent combination with the experienced Henry Davids (35 off 38), effectively ended the contest somewhat abruptly.
“At half time it was game on but they outplayed us, particularly in the second half of the game,” said Van Wyk.
Despite the loss, Van Wyk was still pleased with his charges’ effort during the tournament and looks forward to the Dolphins implementing the lessons learned in the future.
“If you look back, we’ve all come through some tough times; the Titans obviously the stand out team of the tournament winning nine out of the eleven but the rest of us had to scrap to get here.
“We played particularly well in games when it really mattered this season.”
“A couple of our guys got to experience it for the first time tonight and hopefully the taste will make us hungry to come back to this stage and do better.
“Nonetheless I’m very proud of everybody right from Pete (de Wet) and the coaches to all the players that have contributed.
“We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to.”
Van Wyk was also full of praise for the contributions of international professionals Kevin Pietersen and Dwayne Bravo.
“It has been amazing to have Kevin in the changeroom – his contribution with the bat was phenomenal and I think a lot of guys have taken a lot from his professionalism.
“It was also nice to have Dwayne back and he has just gotten better and better as the tournament has gone on, particularly during the play-off games.
“They were both great additions to our changeroom and there is a lot we can take from them!” said Van Wyk.
The Sunfoil Dolphins now turn their attention to the Sunfoil Series with their opening clash against the bizhub Highveld Lions at Bidvest Wanderers Stadium that takes place from 17-20 December.