Tahir leads Lions to victory
Imran Tahir (Gallo Images)
Durban - Imran Tahir claimed a remarkable seven for 64 as the Highveld Lions stormed to a 252-run win over the Dolphins early on day four of their Sunfoi Series clash at Kingsmead on Sunday.
The leg-spinner, axed by the Proteas for their ongoing series against New Zealand, responded to the selectors in some style with his 47th career five-for and a match haul of 12 for 106 in 51.1 overs.
That helped dismiss the hosts for just 163 in their second innings as they tried to chase down an unlikely 416-run victory target.
They had started the day in all sorts of trouble on 118 and half the team out with Tahir then taking four of the remaining five wickets to fall in the 20.5 overs that were bowled.
The 33-year-old set the Dolphins on the back foot with the second ball of the day when he had Cody Chetty edging behind to Zander de Bruyn at first slip without troubling the scorers.
Captain Daryn Smit and Khayelihle Zondo managed to steady things slightly with a 42 run stand, which included taking their side past the 150.
But the skipper was trapped leg before wicket by Tahir for 25, followed by Zondo sent on his way for 34 I the same way by De Bruyn (1/24).
Tahir, who collected a third five wicket haul for the season, also had Calvin Savage (one) lbw not long after, before ending the game by bowling Craig Alexander (nought) as the Lions celebrated.
In the only other result of the weekend, the Warriors destroyed defending champions the Titans by 10 wickets inside three days in Pretoria with the match ending on Saturday.
Victory enabled the Eastern Cape franchise to close the gap on the Cape Cobras at the summit of the table.
They now have 74.38 points, 5.2 fewer than the Capetonian leaders (79.58), while the Lions jump two places, leapfrogging the Dolphins (53.18) and the Knights (51.92) into third place on 53.72.
The Titans remain rooted to the bottom of the table with just 23.94 points after a fourth loss in five games.