Cape Town - Keshav Maharaj and Robbie Frylinck shared five wickets as the Dolphins brilliantly snuck into the CSA T20 Challenge semi-finals with a lop-sided five-wicket win over the Cape Cobras in Durban on Sunday.
Needing to win their final round encounter at Kingsmead to have a chance of progressing, they did so in style with a bonus-point triumph over a visiting side that until Friday morning looked set to host one of the play-off games and possibly even the final.
But a second loss in three days for Ashwell Prince’s side, coupled by some other results, saw them slip down the table to end third, meaning an away last four game at the Warriors on Wednesday.
For the Dolphins, they now have a chance of reaching a second successive final within the space of a month when they will meet the Highveld Lions in their semi.
They made it through after the Lions beat reigning champions the Titans in their round 10 clash at Centurion.
The Durbanites, though, were full value for their win over their Cape opponents after restricting them to just 121 for seven and then chasing down the score with five wickets to spare.
The hosts lost the toss and were asked to field first, but the decision proved to be a telling one as the Cobras battled to score freely. They limped to 53 for four in the first half of their innings as Maharaj continued to amaze with his miserly spin.
Prenelan Subrayen (0/17) strangled the batsmen from the other end, with Frylinck chipping away as the visitors could only manage to set 122.
That too came thanks to a late 29-run unbeaten stand between Vernon Philander (32) and Rory Kleinveldt (17). Kyle Verreynne managed 26.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld, fresh from a century a few nights earlier, then led the reply with a match-high 48 off 31 balls at the top of the order as the Dolphins reached 87 for one by the 10th over.
After he fell, Senuran Muthusamy (19 not out) competed the job – the home side winning with nearly five overs in the pocket.