Keshav Maharaj’s maiden 10-wicket haul snuffed out the Cape Cobras’ fightback and set up the eight-wicket victory that carried the Dolphins up to second on the Sunfoil Series table. Maharaj and Daryn Dupavillon each took four wickets in the second innings as the Nashua Cape Cobras collapsed from 176/1 to 253 all out to leave the Dolphins with a simple target of 140. Although Dane Paterson added a couple of wickets to his growing tally, the Dolphins had no trouble in chasing their target, with Imraan Khan scoring 59 not out to complete the game one ball after the tea break on day three.
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. The destiny of the trophy could now be decided over the next two rounds, in which the Dolphins take on the Titans at SuperSport Park and then the Lions in Durban. While the Cobras appeared to be right back in the match after going to stumps on the second day on 197/3, leading by 83, their collapse on the third morning was dramatic.
Andrew Puttick was caught behind off the bowling of Matthew Pillans in the third over, and with Maharaj (4/87) and Dupavillon (4/47) ripping through the middle and lower orders, the hosts were all out before lunch, with only two batsmen in the bottom eight reaching double figures. Maharaj’s match figures of 10/145 were the third best by a Dolphins bowler against the Cobras, and they left the visiting batsmen with a simple task. Divan Van Wyk contributed 34 in a 68-run opening partnership with Khan, and once Paterson had bowled the opener and trapped Khaya Zondo lbw for a duck, Cody Chetty (37 not out) ensured there were no further hiccups.
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