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Yusuf Abdulla demolishes Cobras

Yusuf Abdulla demolished the Nashua Cape Cobras top-order as the Nashua Dolphins secured a 14-run victory in their Standard Bank Pro20 semifinal first leg at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town on Friday.

The Cobras ended on 149 for nine with left-arm seamer Abdulla taking three for 13 off four overs.

Abdulla picked up two wickets in the first over of the Cobras’ innings. First to go was Henry Davids, clean bowled by a swinging delivery, before Herschelle Gibbs was trapped lbw to leave the Cobras on nought for two.

Graeme Smith (32) and JP Duminy (17) put on 35 runs for the third wicket before Abdulla struck again when he had Duminy well-caught by a diving Daryn Smit behind the stumps.

Abdulla had a hand in the fourth wicket to fall when his throw ran out Andrew Puttick to reduce the Cobras to 46 for four in the eighth over.

Smith was playing a lone hand for the Cobras until he slog-swept leg-spinner Daryn Smit and was caught at deep mid-wicket by a sprawling Alfonso Thomas.

On 95 for eight the Cobras looked dead and buried but Richard Levi, who ended not out on 49 off 28 balls, and Claude Henderson (15) struck some lusty blows to leave the Cobras needing 25 runs from two overs.

Seamer Johann Louw then served up a fine over as he conceded only two runs and picked up the wicket of Henderson.

The Cobras needed 23 runs off the last over but the home-side could only manage eight runs as the Dolphins held on for victory.

Earlier HD Ackerman’s second half-century of the season helped the Dolphins to 162 for five.

Ackerman scored 62 off 53 balls with six fours and a six before he was caught at long-off by Justin Ontong off the bowling of seamer Rory Kleinveldt in the 18th over.

After winning the toss and electing to bat the Dolphins made a very good start to their innings as Jayasuriya and Ackerman put on 75 runs for the first wicket in eight overs and one ball.

In the fourth over of the innings Jayasuriya took a liking to seamer Rory Kleinveldt as the left-handed Sri Lankan clubbed three consecutive sixes and a four.

The opening pair for the Dolphins brought up their 50-run partnership off 30 balls and were scoring at will before Jayasuriya was bowled, by the part-time off spin of Ontong, for 41 off 24 balls with three fours and three sixes.

Jayasuriya’s dismissal slowed the Dolphins’ scoring and, despite Grant Rowley chipping in with 22 off 19 balls, the visitors added a further 87 runs off 11.5 overs.

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