The Diamond Eagles proved with their victory of 82 runs over the Dolphins at the Outsurance Oval in Bloemfontein on Saturday that they are the SuperSport Series cricket champions for the 2007/08 season.
It was the central franchise’s sixth trophy out of a possible 11 since the franchise system was introduced.
The Dolphins duplicated their first innings when they were restricted to 158 in their second innings on the third day of the match. The home side’s all-rounder, Ryan McLaren, got rid of six of the Dolphins’ batsmen for a mere 43 runs. He was also named man of the match after taking three wickets in the first innings.
He missed most of the series due to shingles and worked hard to regain his form. As was the case in the first innings, Dolphins wicketkeeper Daryn Smit was again his team’s stalwart, scoring 45 runs before being trapped leg before by Ryan McLaren.
He and Kyle Smit (34) shared a 50-run partnership before the latter was removed by McLaren. McLaren also dismissed Hashim Amla (10), Khaya Zondo (4), Quinton Friend (13) and Nick Hewer (0).
The Dolphins needed to score 241 runs to beat the home side after the Eagles only managed to add 48 runs to their overnight score of 40/2 before being bundled out.
Morne van Wyk (36) was the only Eagles batsman who managed to get to double figures. Johan Louw (6/39) was the pick of the Dolphins bowlers and he received good assistance by Friend, who sent three batsmen back to the changing room for only 30 runs.
Dillon du Preez, seam-bowler of the Eagles, can come close to breaking McLaren’s record of 54 wickets in a season. He already boasts 51 victims thus far and could end the season as the top bowler of the series.
The Eagles will play their last match of the competition next week against the Cape Cobras in Bloemfontein with the trophy already secured. — Sapa