Western Province Boland v Dolphins, Standard Bank PRO20 Series, Newlands April 8, 2004

Dawn of a brave new world

Western Province Boland 122 for 4 (Puttick 63*) beat Dolphins 121 for 6 by 6 wickets

The much-marketed Standard Bank PRO20 Series got underway in front of 10,035 spectators at Newlands as the new franchise system also kicked off with Nashua Western Province Boland playing host to Nashua Dolphins.

A new concept in South African cricket, with each team set a maximum of 20 overs, saw Ashwell Prince winning the toss and asking the Dolphins to bat first. Doug Watson, after being bogged down, had the distinction of becoming the first player to lose his wicket in the Series, being caught by Graeme Smith off the bowling of Charl Willoughby. Disaster followed with Imran Khan and Dale Benkenstein falling off consecutive balls and then six balls later Hashim Amla followed also for 0. Shaun Pollock, batting up the order, was next to go, leaving the Dolphins 57 for 5 at the halfway mark.

With Jon Kent losing his wicket, Lance Klusener joined Ahmed Amla and together they upped the scoring rate, accelerating to 121 for 6 at the end of the 20 overs. Klusener hammered 39 off 28 balls, including two fours and two sixes, while Amla added 30 off 37.

Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs opened the innings for Western Province Boland and both got first ballers from Pollock. Andrew Puttick and Neil Johnson got the innings back together taking the total to 56 after 10 overs before Klusener struck, getting rid of Johnson in the 11th.

With Puttick going to his 50 off 46 balls and Prince riding his luck, they brought up a 50-run partnership in 37 balls, taking Province Boland to the brink of victory at 111 for 4 when Prince holed out to Khan. Puttick, winning the Master Blaster award, guided them to a six-wicket win.

The match showed that the Dolphins have a lot to learn, with Klusener stuck at the crease after coming in too far down the order at No. 8 and Shaun Pollock only bowling three overs.