Cape Town - The Sunfoil Dolphins earned the opportunity
to become the principal challengers in the Sunfoil Series title race after
inflicting a remarkable collapse on The Unlimited Titans on the third evening
at SuperSport Park.
A 138-run stand between centurion Dean
Elgar and Qaasim Adams hauled the Titans back into the match, taking their lead
to 140 with six wickets in hand, only for the Dolphins to snuff out that
recovery with two quick spurts.
The first one saw Calvin Savage grab two
wickets in four balls as the Titans lost three wickets for seven runs in 16
balls; the second saw the innings ended in abrupt fashion as the final three
wickets went down in seven balls without a run being added.
The Titans thereby tumbled from 225 for
four to 261 all out in their second innings to set the Dolphins a target of
177. The visitors will begin that chase on the final morning after bad light
prevented them from starting their innings.
Up until tea, the third day had largely
belonged to the Titans. They prevented the Dolphins from making significant
additions to their first innings, which resumed on 314 for six and ended on 352
as Marchant de Lange grabbed three of the last four wickets.
The 24-year-old thus finished with the pick
of the figures - 4 for 68 in 24.5 overs - while Ethy Mbhalati had 4 for 106.
The deficit of 85 still looked large when
the Titans lost their first four wickets with only 87 on the board, but the
partnership between Elgar and Adams proved what was possible and suggested that
the hosts could find a way back into the game.
That was not to be as Savage (3 for 55) had
Adams and David Wiese caught behind in consecutive overs and Matthew Pillans
bowled Mangaliso Mosehle for a duck.
Elgar went to his century the ball before
Mosehle’s dismissal and then found some stability in a 57-minute partnership
with De Lange that allowed him to gradually free his arms, but soon the innings
was over in the blink of an eye.
De Lange was trapped lbw by Keshav Maharaj,
and in the next over Daryn Smit’s first over yielded the wickets of Elgar and
Mbhalati for no runs to leave the Dolphins with a very achievable target.