Daryn Dupavillon and Keshav Maharaj combined to snuff out the Cobras’ desperate fightback and set up an eight-wicket win on Saturday with four sessions left in the match.
Following the example of his left-arm spin teammate Maharaj, Dupavillon got into the swing to break the Cobras batting line-up, taking 4-47 on Saturday, and setting up a victory target of 139. Led by a fighting 59 from Imraan Khan, the Dolphins cruised to the target in 41 overs, lifting themselves to second on the table with three games to play.
The Cobras were always on the back foot after being bowled out for 156 on the first day, but they looked as if they could have shifted their stance with a determined start to their second innings, when they were 114 behind.
A century by Stiaan van Zyl took them to 196-3 overnight, but his run-out nine balls before the close on Friday was a heavy blow. Maharaj took two wickets that evening and he added two more scalps on Saturday morning, dismissing nightwatchman Mthokozis Shezi (4) and Dane Vilas (6) to collect four in the innings and 10-145 in the match, his first 10-wicket haul in 61 first-class matches.
After Mathew Pillans had broken the overnight stand in the third over of the day, having Andrew Puttick caught behind for 6, and Maharaj had delivered up Shezi, Dupavillon got to work and mopped up the tail for the addition of just 33 runs, closing the innings at 253 just before lunch, a lead of 139.
Although Dane Paterson broke the opening stand after 68 runs had been posted, bolwing Divan van Wyk for 34, and added the wicket of Khaya Zondo in his next over, he only delayed the inevitable. Cody Chetty (37 not out) helped Imraan secure the win.
With all teams now having played seven games in the competition, the Dolphins trail the Lions by 17.24 points, and lead the third-placed Titans by just under two points.