Khaya Zondo is using this T20 Challenge competition to remind everyone of his quality as he produced his second successive match-winning innings for the Dolphins as they battled past a gutsy Knights side by four wickets at Kingsmead on Saturday.
The Dolphins were set a target of just 145 for victory – and this was only possible due to an extraordinary unbroken partnership of 75 off 39 balls by Knights captain Pite van Biljon and Migael Pretorius – but this proved challenging to the hosts as they slipped to 86 for five after 12 overs.
But Zondo, who top-scored with 59 in the Dolphins win over the Cape Cobras, showed great composure and determination as he made 35 not out off 31 balls to usher his team to victory with 11 balls to spare. He received superb support from reliable finisher Robbie Frylinck, who scored a powerful 24 off 15 deliveries with a couple of hard-struck sixes, as they added a match-turning 55 off 41 balls for the sixth wicket.
The Dolphins, who lost the toss, began the match in spectacular fashion as ace spinner and captain Keshav Maharaj took two wickets with the first three balls of the match, trapping both Patrick Kruger and Andries Gous lbw for ducks.
The Knights crashed even further from 0 for two as they were then 21 for four when Frylinck removed Jacques Snyman, well caught by a diving Zondo at slip for six, and Farhaan Behardien, lbw for five.
That the Knights managed to fight their way back from that dreadful start can only be respected and it was their skipper, Van Biljon who led the way.
The Proteas T20 player counterpunched his way to an heroic 72 not out off 54 balls, a tremendous effort considering he was physically ailing due to some heatstroke. Van Biljon did not take the field when the Dolphins batted, wicketkeeper Wandile Makwetu taking over the reins, and said after the match that he was feeling dizzy and had goosebumps all over his body during his 90 minutes at the crease.
Maharaj finished with two for 18 in his four overs and fellow spinner Prenelan Subrayen was also impressive, conceding just 25 runs in his stint. Frylinck took two for 11 but only bowled three overs, which was surprising considering how both Eathan Bosch and Kerwin Mungroo were punished at the death.