Nervous win sees Dolphins into final
The Nashua Dolphins wobbled into the final of the Standard Bank Pro20 with a nervous five-wicket win over the Gestetner Diamond Eagles in Durban on Friday.
A slew of runouts condemned the Eagles to a total of 114, and the Dolphins replied with 115 for five in 18.3 overs.
But before the fishy fellows could celebrate their win, Dean Elgar grabbed three for ten and effected a runout of his own to play on the nerves of a throaty home crowd of 11 749.
The Dolphins will play the winners of Sunday's second semifinal in Cape Town between the Nashua Cape Cobras and the Nashua Titans in Cape Town in next Friday's final.
Among the Dolphins' bowlers, only Johann Louw (2-23) took more than one wicket. But the home side were assisted by the Free Staters' suicidal tendencies at the crease.
First Elgar (17) and Boeta Dippenaar (30) ended up at the same end looking at each like braying sheep, and Elgar was on his way.
Then Riley Rossouw's (five) dive to try and complete a second run wasn't good enough to beat Alfonso Thomas' throw.
That was followed Roger Telemachus (nought) and Ryan Bailey (one) galloping for the same end like a pair of thoroughbreds in the Durban July. Telemachus departed after the umpires needed an age to study the photo finish.
The Eagles lost five wickets for 14 runs in the process and they soon swooned to 70 for seven.
But a stand of 28 off 25 balls between Dillon du Preez (19) and Thandi Tshabalala (21 not out) helped put them back on track for a three-figure score.
Tshabalala stood firm for 19 balls and hit three fours in his valuable cameo.
Imran Khan (nine) and Grant Rowley (48) gave the Dolphins' reply a sound start with a first-wicket stand of 49 before the fourth run out of the match, this one effected by Elgar, dismissed Khan.
Left-arm spinner Elgar struck again to trap Rowley in front and remove Morne van Vuuren (nought) with consecutive deliveries as the Dolphins slipped to 87 for three in the 13th over.
Then Elgar bowled Hashim Amla (34) to reduce KwaZulu-Natalians to 97 for five in the 15th over.
But there were no further jitters as Jon Kent (eight not out) and Pierre de Bruyn (ten not out) put the Dolphins in the final.