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Momentum One-Day Cup: Makhanya and Nipper magic put Dolphins back on top

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A blistering 57-run partnership between Sibonelo Makhanya and Kyle Nipper helped the Hollywoodbets Dolphins return to the top of the Momentum One-Day Cup table when they snatched victory by four wickets at the death over the BuildNat Cape Cobras in Paarl on Wednesday.

All-rounder Makhanya was the crucial figure for the visitors in the latter overs as he plundered an unbeaten 55 (38 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes), and together with Nipper, who blasted 32 off 18 balls, took the KwaZulu-Natal franchise to their 272 victory target with five balls to spare.

Their unbeaten stand came from just 4.2 overs as they tore into everything thrown at them at Boland Park, ensuring the Dolphins climbed back above the Multiply Titans to the summit with a three point lead. Both Makhanya and Nipper also did well with the ball earlier in the day after the home side had won the toss and opted to bat first.

The latter was a surprise choice to open the bowling and went for a respectable 48 in his 10 overs, while the former delivered the key wicket of Cobras’ top-scorer Keegan Petersen for 57 (66 balls, 3 fours) in his 1/14.

Richard Levi provided the hosts with a good start thanks to his 54 (50 balls, 7 fours) and Dane Vilas followed later with 51 (58 balls, 2 fours), but Ashwell Prince’s side never really got going as they posted 271/1.

The Dolphins were dealt a huge blow when they lost veteran Morne van Wyk for a six-ball duck, but they then rallied through their top-scorer Vaughn van Jaarsveld (59 off 70 balls, 7 fours) and Sarel Erwee (47). The pair shared 107 for the second wicket, only to fall in quick succession.

It left Khaya Zondo (44) as the key man and once he went, there was a likelihood the Dolphins’ challenge would fade. But from 216/6, they stormed back through Makhanya and Nipper to claim a memorable win.