T20 Domestic Cup
Lions bag their third win
Neil McKenzie (Gallo Images)
Durban - A miserly spell of bowling from Chris Morris spearheaded the Highveld Lions to a third T20 Challenge win out of three this season as they eked out a seven-run victory over the Dolphins at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday.
The fast bowler bagged 2-14 and was aided nicely by all the visiting bowlers, including spinner Aaron Phangiso (2-20), as the hosts were restricted to 122/8 in pursuit of a modest 130 victory target.
Earlier, Robbie Frylinck bagged an incredible 5-16 in 3.2 overs, the joint third best figures in domestic T20 history, as the men from Johannesburg lost their last six wickets for 12 runs to be bowled out for 129.
Neil McKenzie blasted 56 off 38 balls before the late collapse, which proved irrelevant in the end with the Lions extending their lead at the top of the table.
Having lost the toss and being asked to bat first, the Lions lost Gulam Bodi in the second over when he struck Craig Alexander straight to Ravi Bopara at midwicket for one.
Fellow opener Quinton de Kock, who set the tournament alight with a century last Sunday, was threatening another big innings at the other end having struck Prenelan Subrayen for two boundaries in three deliveries.
But he was dismissed for 17 thanks to a splendid one-handed catch by David Miller at backward point -- the fielder timing his jump to perfection and plucking the ball out of the air off Mthokozisi Shezi.
Temba Bavuma (20) and McKenzie then added 57 for the third wicket, before the former skied Frylinck to Miller at long-on.
Captain Jean Symes (eight) and Dwaine Pretorius (12 not out) helped McKenzie take the Lions past 100 with the veteran Proteas batsman getting to his 15th T20 50 in 34 balls.
But it all went wrong from there, Frylinck the catalyst for the Dolphins, aided by some poor batting by the visitors.
He claimed three wickets in the 17th over, and after Subrayen took out two more in the next, the all-rounder cleaned up Imran Tahir for a duck to leave the Lions all out with 10 balls to spare.
The Dolphins reply was slow at the start and it was not helped by the wickets of Khayelihle Zondo (four) and Cody Chetty (nought) inside the first five overs.
Jonathan Vandiar (19) and Vaughn van Jaarsveld (26) took 29 balls to put on 16 for the third wicket and that really put the hosts on the back foot.
They reached the halfway stage at 37/3 and never really recovered from there, losing wickets at regular intervals.
Even though they needed 48 from the last five overs, they were already six down and despite a valiant attempt from David Miller (41), they fell short.