Imran Tahir produced one of his magical, bewitching spells to take eight wickets and humiliate the Knights in Kimberley on Tuesday.
It was all looking so good for the Knights, who had struck back well after trailing by 49 runs after the first innings, bowling the Dolphins out for 106. Duanne Olivier (3-31) had cracked open the top order, allowing Mbulelo Budaza (4-31) and Werner Coetsee (2-19) free rein to destroy the rest. The Knights needed just 156 to win.
Up stepped Imran Tahir, after Keshav Maharaj had made the initial breakthrough by bowling Rudi Second in his first over on a surface turning on a tickey. First went Michael Erlank, second-best batsman of the innings, caught behind on with 18; next ball, Luthano Mnyanda, bowled. Then followed Pite van Biljon (0), Tumelo Bodibe (0), Werner Coetsee (2) and Shadley van Schalkwyk (12), all lbw, for the addition of 36 runs.
Only Reeza Hendricks stood firm against the wall, battling on eventually to 57 before becoming Maharaj’s second victim.
Tahir mopped up the tail for 92 all out and the Dolphins picked up their second win of the series by 63 runs. Tahir’s previous first-class best was 8-76. He ended with match figures of 12 for 133.
Titans v Cobras
For the second Sunfoil match in a row, the Cape Cobras were crushed within three days, beaten by 10 wickets by the Titans in Benoni.
After being thrashed by an innings at Newlands by the Knights, this time they were tied in knots by the unorthodox left-arm deliveries of Tabraiz Shamsi, who took 7-63 in the innings and 12 in the match to engineer a 10-wicket win for the Titans.
The Cobras had been forced to follow on 255 behind the Titans’ first offering of 362, and despite a series of fighting partnerships at the top of the order, Junior Dala and Shamsi broke through regularly.
Andrew Puttick and Justin Ontong had resumed at 122-2 on Tuesday morning, but Ontong was able to add just 21 before he was dismissed. Puttick was to go to a solid 92 off 202 balls, with support from Keegan Petersen (45). When they were dismissed in successive overs, it began a slide which saw the Cobras at 243-9, still 12 runs away from an innings defeat.
But Dane Vilas had been opening up, unburdened by expectation. He slammed a quick 69 off 67 balls (12×4, 1×6) to delay the inevitable and make the Titans bat again. Well supported by Lizaad Williams (14 off 36) he added 77 before Williams became Shamsi’s seventh victim.
Heino Kuhn (37) and Grant Mokoena (27) knocked off the required runs in 6.4 overs.
Lions v Warriors
Stephen Cook sent yet another message to the national selectors as he almost single-handedly took the Lions into an almost impregnable position against the Warriors at the Wanderers.
The Lions already had a 128-run advantage after the first innings, but Cook really rubbed it in by hammering an unbeaten 168 off 256 balls. His contribution made up more than half of the Lions’ second innings of 294-4, aided by Rassie van der Dussen (28) Yassar Cook (35) and Dominc Hendricks (21), which presented the Warriors with a target of 423.
At the close, the visitors were 104-4, thanks exclusively to Colin Ackerman (45) and Colin Fortuin (34), who will resume in the morning, 319 behind.