A 28th career five-wicket haul by Keshav Maharaj proved key for the Dolphins as they completed a nine-wicket win over the Lions in their season-opening 4-Day Domestic Series encounter on the final day in Durban on Thursday.
The Proteas spinner claimed six for 101 in 38.4 overs, receiving fine support from fellow slow bowler Prenelan Subrayen (3/63) to help dismiss the defending champions for 210 shortly after lunch on day four.
That left the home side a target of 11, which they quickly chased to wrap up an emphatic victory at Kingsmead.
It had been an impressive all-round display for the home side built on a record venue stand of 344 between Sarel Erwee (199) and Keegan Petersen (173).
Their partnership had left the Lions needing to bat big in their second innings, but they struggled and reached stumps after three days on 75 for three.
Temba Bavuma (25) and Ryan Rickelton (35) managed to add 48 for the fourth wicket at the start, but both were removed by Subrayen in quick succession, with Nicky van den Bergh (4) also falling in between.
All three were dismissed leg before wicket.
That clutter of wickets led to the Lions slipping from 117 for three to 126 for six.
From there the Lions' chances of salvaging anything was slim. Maharaj stuck it in by wrapping up the tail to leave the champions all out in 82.4 overs.
The Dolphins lost Grant Roelofsen (1) cheaply for the second time in the game in their brief chase, but that proved the only blip in a big win.
- Cricket South Africa