Durban - Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj signed off from Dolphins duty with a five-wicket haul on Friday as he spun them to a 45-run victory over the Highveld Lions in a low-scoring One-Day Cup clash at Kingsmead.
Maharaj’s 5 for 40, along with Robbie Frylinck’s 4 for 43, saw the Lions bowled out for 218 in response to the Dolphins’ 245 for seven.
The Dolphins also had key contributions with the bat from Sibonelo Makhanya and Khaya Zondo, who put on 145 for the fifth wicket after the hosts found themselves in early trouble.
The Lions won the toss and elected to bowl first, and employed spin in just the ninth over as the nature of the wicket became apparent.
Carmi le Roux had already dismissed Sarel Erwee (1) up front, and Bjorn Fortuin backed that up with the wickets of Morne van Wyk (8) and Cody Chetty (12) in consecutive overs.
When Vaughn van Jaarsveld was run out for 17 in the 16th over the Dolphins were 48 for four, but Makhanya joined Zondo for the key alliance of the match.
Makhanya made a career-best 82 before falling foul of another run-out, while Zondo scored 74 before Maharaj (15*) and Calvin Savage (16*) weighed in with a few late runs.
The Lions reply started brightly as Stephen Cook (14) and Reeza Hendricks put on 49 for the first wicket at a good rate, only for Cook’s dismissal to Frylinck to open the doors.
Maharaj burst through with the wickets of Hendricks (42) and Rassie van der Dussen (7) in consecutive overs, before the Lions rallied through Temba Bavuma and Nicky van den Bergh.
The pair took the visitors to 122 for three in the 28th over, perfectly on track for victory, before Maharaj derailed them by bowling Van den Bergh for 28.
Thereafter, although Bavuma hung in, wickets fell regularly at the other end as Frylinck and Maharaj proved too good on a tricky pitch.
Nono Pongolo made 31, but once Bavuma was bowled by Frylinck for 74 it was clear that the Lions would fall short.