Johannesburg - A century from Stephen Cook steered the Lions to their fourth win in the One Day Cup, beating the Dolphins by 89 runs at the Wanderers on Sunday.
Cook, who made 125 against the Titans in the first one-day game of the season, made 108 not out, off 88 balls, hitting 10 fours and two sixes.
Chasing 247, in a match reduced to 37 overs a side, the Dolphins started at a cracking pace, with Jonathan Vandiar thrashing seven fours.
Losing his two partners along the way, - Cameron Delport and Daryn Smit - Vandiar looked to be scampering to a quick 50. However, he was stopped in his tracks by a well-taken catch by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, diving low to his left, off Pumelela Matshikwe, one run short of his half-century.
Delport, deceived by a slower ball from Hardus Viljoen, skied to Cook at mid-off, for four, while Smit chopped onto his stumps for 16, as did Vaughn van Jaarsveld for 11.
David Miller and Cody Chetty were left to try and pick up the pace, and the pair shared the only other significant partnership after Vandiar’s departure.
They put on 28 runs for the fifth wicket but their stand came to a premature end when Chetty, looking for a big one, was stumped off Aaron Phangiso for 10.
The Dolphins were all out for 157 in 31.1 overs with Phangiso taking three wickets for 37.
He also accounted for David Miller, who played the only other convincing innings for the Dolphins, scoring 34, and Robert Frylinck who was bowled for four.
The Lions’ innings turned into a drawn out affair, characterised by the number of wide balls bowled.
Extras amounted to 41, second only to Cook’s score, of which 29 were wides. The Dolphins bowled three-and-a-half extra overs as a result, with the main culprits being offbreak bowler Prenelan Subrayen, who bowled six wides. Kyle Abbott and Frylinck bowled five wides each and Mthokozisi Shezi three.
Cook shared an opening stand of 80 with Gulam Bodi before Frylinck made the breakthrough.
A change in bowling paid off for the Dolphins as Frylinck struck with his second ball, bowling short to Bodi, who sliced straight to Miller at point for 32.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe, playing only his second game for his new franchise, gave away 48 runs from his eight overs, with his figures spoilt by the two sixes Cook struck off the last balls of two of his last few overs.
Despite conceding so many extras, Frylinck was the pick of the bowlers for the Dolphins, taking three for 52, while Cameron Delport got the other two wickets, for 36 runs.
The Lions have won four out of four in the competition while Cook extended his lead as the top run maker. The Dolphins were lacking time in the middle after one match was rained out, and they narrowly lost their second game, also affected by rain, via the Duckworth-Lewis method.