Durban - A career-best four wickets from Calvin Savage helped the Dolphins keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the RAM Slam T20 Challenge playoffs with a 22-run victory over the Cape Cobras at Kingsmead on Thursday.
The fast bowler grabbed four for 33 as the visitors, who were eliminated from the competition in the process, were restricted to 136 for seven in pursuit of a 159 victory target with Dane Vilas the pick of the batsmen after his 47 off 40 deliveries.
Vilas’ score was the highest of the game, although it was not as significant as the one from home captain Daryn Smit after he plundered 33 off 17-balls, including two sixes and three fours.
Divan van Wyk (35 off 26) and Cody Chetty (25 off 19) also came to the party, helping them leapfrog their opponents to fifth place on the log in the process.
The Dolphins, who were asked to bat first after losing the toss, lost the wicket of Cameron Delport early, edging Beuran Hendricks behind to Vilas for seven.
But Van Wyk was joined by Chetty and the two added a quick-fire 42 in just 28 deliveries, to enable the hosts to reach 50 in the sixth over, before the latter was run out attempting a second thanks to a superb throw by Hendricks from fine leg.
It was 77 for two at the halfway stage with Dane Piedt striking twice in the 13th over as the tide appeared to change.
First the off-break bowler had Ravi Bopara (15) caught at deep midwicket by Yaseen Vallie, before holding on to a superb return catch from Van Wyk.
That hurt the home team, and the run outs of Vaughn van Jaarsveld (eight) and David Miller (17), also did not help the cause.
However, Smit’s late cameo yielded 45 runs from the last three overs allowing the Dolphins to post 158 for seven.
Mthokozisi Shezi (2/29) put the Cobras on the back foot from the outset by bowling Vallie with the third delivery of the innings for a duck and the dangerous Richard Levi (19) was splendidly caught by Yusuf Abdulla at short fine-leg.
That left the visitors on 26 for two with Vilas and Owais Shah doubling the total before the fall of wicket number three - the Englishman skying the impressive Keshav Maharaj (1/13) to long-on for one.
The Capetonians slipped further into trouble when Savage cleaned up Justin Ontong and then had Azhar Mahmood caught behind by Smit, both for 11.
And when Vilas fell early in the 17th over, the writing was on the wall for the Cobras as they slipped to a fourth successive defeat to bow out of the tournament.