Neil McKenzie scored a superb fifty before Chris Morris turned in a wonderful display of fast bowling as the bizhub Highveld Lions beat the Sunfoil Dolphins by seven runs in their RAM SLAM T20 Challenge match at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on Friday.
McKenzie cruised to 56 off 38 balls with six fours and a six, after having notched up his 15th T20 fifty off a mere 34 deliveries, before the Lions were bowled out for 129 off 18.2 overs with seamer Robbie Frylinck claiming career-best figures of five for 16.
Paceman Morris then took advantage of a pitch with plenty of pace and bounce to capture figures of 4-1-14-2 as the Dolphins stuttered to 122 for eight after 20 overs.
Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso finished with two for 20.
The win was the Lions’ third on the trot but victory had looked unlikely after the visitors had lost their last six wickets for just 12 runs.
The Dolphins had won the toss and asked the Lions to bat.
The elegant McKenzie hardly looked troubled at the crease until he departed in the 17th over when he hoisted a delivery from Frylinck to Vaughn van Jaarsveld at deep midwicket.
McKenzie’s departure saw a start of a wonderful spell from Frylinck who claimed four wickets off eight balls.
The bowler had Morris (0) caught behind by keeper Daryn Smit, Sohail Tanvir (0) caught at long-on before the burly Frylinck bowled Imran Tahir (0).
McKenzie and Temba Bavuma (20) had put on 57 runs for the third wicket before Bavuma became Frylinck’s first victim when he was caught at long-on.
Frylinck’s final figures were all the more remarkable considering that his first two deliveries of the match were smashed for four by Bavuma.
Bavuma’s dismissal heralded the start of a collapse from the visitors as the lost their last eight wickets for just 51 runs and their last six wickets for 12 runs with Dwaine Pretorius (12 not out) the only other batsman to reach double figures.
Frylinck was well supported by left-arm seamer Mthokozisi Shezi, who picked up two for 18 off four overs.
The Dolphins reply was a laboured affair and they struggled to 37 for three off 10 overs.
David Miller, with 41 off 34 balls, tried his best to keep the hosts in the contest but when he was run out in the last over of the match the Dolphins’ faint hopes of victory disappeared