Pietermaritzburg - The Warriors have finally broke their duck for the season on Sunday as they snuck home to beat the Dolphins by four wickets with three balls to spare in a One-Day Cup nail-biter at the City Oval.
Vaughan van Jaarsveld’s superb 118 looked to be the match-winning knock as the Dolphins scored 274 for eight after being asked to bat, but the Warriors paced their chase to perfection in the tightest game of the competition so far.
Jon-Jon Smuts was named man of the match for his 94, which was supplemented by Michael Price’s 70.
Although both openers batted at an unimposing pace, putting on 127 in 30.5 overs, the partnership ensured that the visitors were able to take the game deep before Christiaan Jonker supplied the necessary fireworks at the end.
The Warriors still needed 99 from the last 11 overs, but with nine wickets in hand they were able to go hard.
Even as the wickets tumbled, Jonker smashed an unbeaten 30 from 16 balls - including 19 off the 48th over, which was bowled by Robbie Frylinck.
While it was no surprise that Morne van Wyk and Cameron Delport made minor contributions after their heroics on Friday night, the Dolphins middle-order proved that they are more than a one- or two-player team.
Cody Chetty anchored the first part of the innings with a measured 50, while Van Jaarsveld stroked his runs from just 99 balls to provide the go-forward and Frylinck finished things off with 42 not out from 21 deliveries.
However, the home side’s total was ultimately not quite big enough, leaving them second on the log - four points below the Cobras, who have a game in hand.
The Warriors moved up to fourth, having won their first game of the season at the fifth attempt.