The Nashua Titans attack, spearheaded by a miserly Morne Morkel, restricted the Sunfoil Dolphins to 143 for five in their RAM SLAM T20 CHALLENGE clash at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.
The Dolphins won the toss and elected to bat. They reached 50 for one after 7.3 overs as Cody Chetty set the pace with some scintillating stroke play on the off-side.
The visitors looked poised for a total close to 190 while Chetty and Ravi Bopara shared in a 47-run partnership for the third wicket in 5.2 overs
They treated the off-spinner Eden Links with disdain, smashing 17 runs off his last over as the Dolphins moved to 101 for two in the thirteenth over
But a middle-order wobble which saw three wickets fall for the addition of only sixteen runs in 2.4 overs, rocked the visitors as they slumped to 118 for five in the seventeenth over.
The New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris applied the squeeze and had Chetty caught by Morne Morkel for 44 to reduce the Dolphins to 102 for three.
Chetty scored 44 off 28 balls, which included six fours and a six.
Roelof van der Merwe added to their misery by bowling the England-player Ravi Bopara with a quicker straighter one for 25 to leave the visitors on 111 for four after fifteen overs.
That mini-collapse and the accurate spell by Styris denied the Dolphins much-needed momentum at the business end of the innings.
The muscular Vaughn van Jaarsveld, a pivotal player if they were to accelerate the run-rate in the final five overs, was run out by Morne Morkel at the end of the seventeenth innings as the Dolphins slipped to 118 for five.
Morkel, who missed the first four games of the international Momentum One-Day campaign against Pakistan with an injury, was miserly in an impressive spell. He and Alfonso Thomas denied the national player David Miller from finishing the innings with a bang.
Morkel was the pick of the attack with 1-21 in four overs, while Styris was the best of the support cast and captured 1-16 in three overs.
Van der Merwe boasted figures of 2-21 in three overs.
Thomas, who played a pivotal role in denying the bizhub Highveld Lions on Wednesday with an immaculate line and length in his final two overs, was excellent in his second spell and finished with 0-29.
Miller finished with 25 off 24 balls, with two fours.