The Lions delivered a brilliant display to beat the Dolphins by four wickets in Durban on Sunday to win the CSA T20 Challenge.
The men from Johannesburg overcame the Warriors in Saturday’s playoff and faced a stern task against the unbeaten Dolphins.
Keshav Maharaj won the toss and elected to bat first as the Dolphins hoped to capitalise on their home conditions.
But, instead, it was the Lions bowlers, who applied the immediate pressure with Bjorn Fortuin clean bowling Sarel Erwee with the third delivery of the day.
Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada and Sisanda Magala all got in on the act, ripping through the Dolphins batting lineup.
The Durbanites failed to get going with the bat, struggling to form any worthy partnerships. Robbie Frylinck top-scored with an unbeaten 30 as the Dolphins only managed to post 107-7 in their 20 overs.
Rabada finished the innings with impressive figures of 3-12 in his four overs, while Magala claimed 2-19.
#BetwayT20Challenge | Innings ✅
The Imperial Lions have restricted the @DolphinsCricket to 108/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
R Frylink 30*
K Rabada 3 – 12 – 4
S Magala 2 – 19 – 4
🦁 require 109 runs to win the @Betway_za T20 Challenge trophy #Aggression #DOLvLIO pic.twitter.com/m5etqootRf
— Imperial Lions (@LionsCricketSA) February 28, 2021
In reply the Lions also struggled to kickstart their innings with the Dolphins bowlers doing a great job at keeping things tight.
Keshav Maharaj picked up the early wicket of Ryan Rickelton for only three, while Frylinck dismissed the dangerous Temba Bavuma for 22. Rassie van der Dussen also added three before he fell to Ottniel Baartman.
The Lions found themselves in trouble when Reeza Hendricks departed after batting patiently for his 39 but he fell to Kerwin Mungroo, caught behind.
Rabada was promoted up the order but he was knocked over Prenelan Subrayen for only one. Wiaan Mulder, however, got the Lions’ chase back on track towards the end with a few much-need boundaries that got his team closer to the target.
It was down to Fortuin, who brilliantly hit the Lions to victory with an over to spare.