THE Dolphins kicked off their MTN40 campaign with a clinical 37-run win over a startled Cape Cobras line-up last night at Kingsmead, and it was a pair of debutants who did most of the damage.
England ace Ravi Bopara (80) and Inland star Glen Addicott (70) made sparkling contributions as the Dolphins made 281 for six, before an excellent team effort in the field overwhelmed the visitors.
Having elected to bat, the Dolphins saw opener Loots Bosman’s miserable week continue, as the Protea was trapped in front by Vernon Philander for an eight-ball duck.
Skipper Imran Khan found pleasant company in Cameron Delport, as the young left-hander clubbed 27-ball 52.
Khan opened up his shoulders after Delport departed, as he made a more sedate 53 before giving Justin Ontong a return catch, leaving his side 135 for three in the 25th over.
Enter Addicott — and cue mayhem for the Cobras leather-flingers.
The unassuming Inland star had been picked for SuperSport Series duty against the Lions last week, but a frightful fever saw him bed-ridden and cursing his rotten luck.
By the end of his 41-minute stay, though, it was the Cobras who were sick at the sight of seven sixes being clubbed by the chiseled slayer.
Those who follow club cricket in Maritzburg know only too well of Addicott’s destructive ways, but the 26-year-old displayed his rampant repertoire to a wider audience last night.
Bopara, meanwhile, calmly settled in, before he started striding down the track and showing just why the Dolphins had gone to the trouble of securing his signature.
Some of his strokes smacked of artful arrogance, and his well-timed 80 suggested that he could be a real treat for the Kingsmead faithful.
While Bopara was all class on one end, Addicott was a lot less subtle, “klapping’’ Kleinveldt for four maximums alone.
Ontong’s dobblers also got the treatment, as the Dolphins pair rattled up their 100 stand off just 68 balls.
It was brutal stuff, and though they fell within three balls of each other, they had lifted the Dolphins to a towering total.
The Cobras’ hopes lay on the shoulders of Herschelle Gibbs, and the former international star threatened to wave his wand again, but he chopped Jon Kent onto his stumps for a breezy 40.
With the ace in the pack gone, the Dolphins chucked on their spin twins, Tabraiz Shamsi and the red-hot Imran Tahir.
The throttling started in earnest, and Tahir had Stiaan Van Zyl (20) swiftly stumped by Daryn Smit, before the leg-spinner superbly ran out Andrew Puttick (47), after some fine retrieving off his own bowling.
Cobras’ captain Justin Kemp notched 37 to keep the Cobras interested, but when he was castled by Kyle “Jimmy” Abbott, it was all over.
A jumping “Jimmy” then made a mess of Johan Louw’s timber off the very next ball, as the Dolphins tightened the noose.
Abbott claimed three scalps, while Tahir and Quinton Friend nabbed a pair apiece.
Bopara was named as man-of-the-match ahead of Addicott’s action-packed antics, but the Dolphins will be just delighted at an excellent, all-round display.
All that’s left now is for the Sharks to continue the Durban domination against those “other’’ unwelcome guests from the Cape.
L Bosman lbw Philander 0
C Delport c Louw b Zondeki 52
I Khan c and b Ontong 53
R Bopara b Philander 80
G Addicot c Van Zyl b Louw 70
D Conway not out 9
D Smith c Gibbs b Louw 9
J Kent not out 1
Extras: (4w, 2b, 1lb) 7
Total: (for 6 wkts) 281 – 40 overs
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-75, 3-135, 4-261, 5-261, 6-281
Bowling: Kleinveldt 6-0-49-0 (2w), Philander 5-0-44-2 (1w), Louw 8-0-64-2, Zondeki 5-0-27-1, Engelbrecht 6-0-31-0, Ontong 7-0-40-1 (1w), Carolus 3-0-23-0
A Puttick run out Tahir 47
H Gibbs b Friend 40
S van Zyl st Smith b Tahir 20
J Ontong c Abbott b Bopara 27
J Kemp b Abbott 37
R Levi b Friend 11
R Canning b Tahir 17
J Louw b Abbott 0
V Philander not out 15
S Engelbrecht b Abbott 1
R Kleinveldt not out 18
Extras: (8w, 2lb, 1nb) 11
Total: (for 9 wkts) 244 – 40 overs
Fall of wickets: 1/69, 2/111, 3/112, 4-167, 5-181, 6-203, 7-203, 8-218, 9-223
Bowling: Abbott 8-1-52-3 (1nb, 1w), Kent 6-0-32-0 (1w), Friend 8-0-48-2 (3w), Tahir 8-0-32-2, Shamsi 4-0-22-0 (1w), Bopara 5-0-40-1 (1w), Amla 1-0-16-0 (1w)