Sunfoil Series 2012-13 January 6, 2013

Tahir leads Lions to big win

ESPNcricinfo staff

A collective batting performance and a 12-wicket haul by legspinner Imran Tahir propelled Lions to a 252-run win over Dolphins in Durban. Chasing 416, Dolphins were bowled out for 163 in the morning session on the final day, as Tahir ran through their middle and lower order. Besides Tahir, middle-order batsman Neil McKenzie starred in Lions' win, scoring a century in the second innings to help cement their dominance in the contest.

The seeds of the win were sown by a 93-run lead in the first innings. After scoring 248, a total built around half-centuries from Zander de Bruyn and Brett Pelser, Lions bowled Dolphins out for 155, as seamer Ethan O'Reilly and Tahir took eight wickets between them. Tahir claimed 5 for 42.

Lions consolidated their advantage by scoring 322 for 4 before declaring their second innings on the third day. Besides McKenzie, wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock and de Bruyn also played productive knocks. Dolphins were already five wickets down by the end of the third day.

Tahir, who had already taken three wickets, struck with the second ball of the final day, dismissing Cody Chetty for a duck. After a slow 42-run stand between Daryn Smit and Khaya Zondo, Tahir took his fifth wicket, trapping Smit lbw to leave Dolphins struggling at 160 for 7. Khayelihle Zondo, who scored 34, was then removed by de Bruyn before Tahir cleaned up the tail to lead his team to the win.

The result left Lions in third position in the points table, with Dolphins behind them.