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Dillon du Preez played a major role as the Diamond Eagles secured their place in this year's MTN Domestic Championship final with an eight-run victory over the Dolphins at the OUTsurance Oval in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
The all-rounder scored an unbeaten 33 runs from only 14 balls to help the Eagles to 253/8 in their allotted 45 overs. Though he didn't grab a wicket, his last over was worth gold.
The Dolphins needed 13 runs from the last over with Darryn Smit (55*) and Quinton Friend (25*) in the middle. They could only manage to score four runs all as singles. In the penultimate over bowled by Ryan McLaren, the batsmen scored 14 runs raising hope they could do it again in the last.
Smit got his 55 runs from only 35 balls with four fours and two sixes while Friend scored his from only 19 balls.
Smit was the hero for the Dolphins scoring the only half century for them. He also bowled brilliantly sending three of the Eagles batsmen back to the changeroom for a mere 13 runs.
The Diamond-Eagles will meet the Titans in the final of the competition on Friday in Bloemfontein.
l Meanwhile Meshack Khotha reports that Titans coach, Richard Pybus, would not have asked for a better revenge after his charges bundled the Cobras out of the other semifinal by nine wicket win in Pretoria on Friday.
This follows the Cape Town side's last year's massive victory over the defending champions (Titans) by 101 runs in the second round of the domestic competition at SuperSport Park, Centurion on November 23.
They were the only team that brought the Titans' home unbeaten record to a halt.