Imran Tahir grabbed five for 42 as the bizhub Highveld Lions bundled out the Sunfoil Dolphins for just 155 in their Sunfoil Series encounter at Sahara Stadium Kinsgmead. The Lions then cracked 60 in their first 11 overs of their second dig, to be sitting pretty with a lead of 153 in the match.
The Dolphins, who were on a wobbly 128 for six at lunch, were rocked by Tahir on a pitch that is proving very conducive to his bag of tricks. The discarded Proteas Test bowler wrapped up the Dolphins tail, after seamer Brett Pelser had continued his fine match with the key wickets of Daryn Smit (18) and Cody Chetty (34).
With the last two recognised Dolphins batters having compiled a patient, but pivotal 47 runs for the seventh wicket, the Lions needed to strike, and Pelser duly broke through the defences of Smit, before trapping Chetty on the crease two overs later.
With their demise, the end came very quickly for the Dolphins, with Tahir proving too much for Kyle Abbott and Craig Alexander. Both fell without scoring, the former bowled, and the latter leg before for a first-baller.
Tahir will have taken plenty of heart from a spell that was probing and controlled, and he will be a real menace in the Dolphins' second innings.
Having secured a healthy 93-run lead in the first innings, the Lions then rollocked along to 60 after just 11 overs, with Quinton de Kock clubbing 34 off just 25 balls, including five fours and a massive six off a toiling Alexander.
At the other end, skipper Stephen Cook looked ready for the long haul, as he made his way to a steady 20 off 42 balls. The Dolphins, already well behind in the match, will need wickets in the final session to stay in touch with the charging Lions.
Sunfoil Dolphins: Imraan Khan, Divan van Wyk, Jonathan Vandiar, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Khaya Zondo, Cody Chetty, Daryn Smit (wk/c), Kyle Abbott, Calvin Savage, Craig Alexander, Mthokozisi Shezi.
Bizhub Highveld Lions: Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook (c), Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie, Zander de Bruyn, Paul Matshikwe, Dieter Klein, Ethan O'Reilly, Brett Pelser, Imran Tahir.