The bizhub Highveld Lions, led by a rampant Imran Tahir, needed just over an hour on the final day to wrap up a comprehensive, 252-run win over the Sunfoil Dolphins at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Sunday.
Tahir, who had three wickets overnight as the Sunfoil Dolphins ended day three on 118 for five, grabbed another four scalps on the final morning to bowl out the home side for 163. That saw him end with wonderful figures of seven for 64, and match figures of 12 for 106 to easily walk away with the man of the match award.
The Sunfoil Dolphins had been set a mammoth 416 to win after the bizhub Highveld Lions had declared on 322 for five before tea on day three. Having lost five wickets before the close, the Sunfoil Dolphins had their backs firmly against the wall, with Tahir extracting turn and bounce off a wearing Kingsmead track.
The leg-spinner wasted little time picking up where he had left off on the previous day, as he had Cody Chetty caught by Zander de Bruyn off just the second ball of the day. Daryn Smit (25) and Khaya Zondo (34) added a slow 42 for the seventh wicket, before Smit became Tahir's fifth victim of the innings, trapped leg-before.
Zondo, who had stuck around and watched much of the carnage on the other end, fell to the same fate an over late, with De Bruyn getting in amongst the wickets, too. The bizhub Highveld Lions could sense that victory was imminent, and Tahir duly wrapped up the tail. Yet another flat, fast googly accounted for Calvin Savage as he was nabbed in front, before Tahir wrapped up the match by castling Craig Alexander for nought, to secure a huge win for the form team in South African cricket this season.
The bizhub Highveld Lions helped themselves to 16.96 points for their win, as they continue to chase the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras atop the Sunfoil Series table. Stephen Cook's men do have games in hand, and they will be a threat if they continue to play in a similarly efficient manner for the rest of the four-day campaign.
The Sunfoil Dolphins, meanwhile, have a week off to lick their wounds, before they face a daunting trip to face the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras in Cape Town next week.
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, Pumelela Matshikwe, Dieter Klein, Ethan O'Reilly, Brett Pelser, Imran Tahir.