A second-wicket stand of 210 between Sarel Erwee and Khaya Zondo gave the Dolphins a winning target as they beat the Titans by 34 runs on Saturday night.
Their work was magnificently backed up by the pace of Andile Phehlukwayo, who ended the night with his best ever figures of 6-27 to destroy the Titans’ challenge.
The Titans made a fundamental error in sending the Dolphins in to bat at Kingsmead as they powered up to 315-5. First Morne van Wyk (29) and Erwee put on 52 for the opening wicket in 12 overs, at which point the Titans may have felt they still had a handle on the game.
But then Erwee and Zondo built a perfectly-weighted partnership. They did not need to do anything rash, but once they were set, they were able to express themselves, eventually averaging 6.56 an over. Zondo hit six sixes and four fours in his 100, which came off 104 balls, while Erwee was more measured, with 11 fours and two sixes among his 113 off 128.
They took the score to 262 in the 45th over, and the total was given a boost to 315 by Calvin Savages’s 19 off 12 balls.
The Titans had to hit the ground running, and while their run-rate was keeping pace, they couldn’t afford the wickets. They had lost three with 60 on the board after 11 overs, all to Phuhlukwayo.
Dean Elgar’s 57 was the mainstay of the fightback, putting on 57 with Graeme van Buuren (22) and 59 with Qassim Adams (38). But when Elgar went, the fourth of Phehlukwayo’s victims, the innings ran out of steam.
Not even the efforts of Albie Morkel, who hammered a quick 52 off 36 balls, putting on 71 with Grant Thomson (38 off 30 balls) at nine an over could rescue the situation. They were bowled out for 281.
But after the earlier results in the day, none of this was relevant, for the knockout finalists were long decided even though some still have a game to play. The Cobras will meet the winners of the Lions v the Warriors.