Durban - Spinner Keshav Maharaj finished with three wickets as the Dolphins sealed their place in the domestic T20 Challenge play-offs with a comprehensive 40-run Duckworth-Lewis victory over the Knights at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday night.
Slow left-armer Maharaj claimed three for 27 as the visitors were dismissed for 86 in pursuit of 127 from 14 overs after nearly an hour's play was lost because of rain.
Kyle Abbott (2-6), Daryn Smit (2-17) and Robbie Frylinck (2-23) were also amongst the wickets leaving the Free Staters all out in 13.2 overs. Earlier on, Cameron Delport smashed three sixes and three fours in his 56 off 36 balls to help the Dolphins amass 170
for four, with David Miller also contributing a handy 39 off 27.
After being asked to bat first, Morne van Wyk was dropped off the fourth ball by Quinton Friend at fine leg off Johan van der Wath, before going on to smash two sixes and two fours in a quick-fire 22.
He added 32 with Delport for the first wicket, but fell when he struck a Romano Terblanche full toss straight to Ryan McLaren at cover.
Cody Chetty (19) was in next and helped take the home side past 50 in the seventh over, before he too fell, playing all around a straight ball from Malusi Siboto.
The 100 was raised in the 13th over when Delport clubbed three consecutive sixes off Werner Coetsee, the last of those big hits taking him to a sixth career 50 in 33 balls.
However, he fell three balls later by pulling Friend to Van der Wath at mid-wicket with the total on 110 for three.
But Miller, after a slow start, began to pick up the pace for the Dolphins, taking 17 from the 17th over sent down from Friend, although his wicket in the 18th over at least helped the visitors ensure there was damage control with the target set at 171.
That was reduced even further when rain halted play after just two balls of the chase and the men from Bloemfontein were on the back foot from the outset, losing their top three with just 25 on the board.
Mthokozisi Shezi struck to remove Rilee Rossouw (seven) in the second over, followed by Reeza Hendricks (three) and Dean Elgar (seven) falling to Abbott and Maharaj in the third and fifth overs respectively.
That put pressure on the middle order and Obus Pienaar absorbed some of that until he fell for 18 Ä Miller taking a stunning low catch off Frylinck running around from long-off.
The 50 was raised in the ninth over, but two more wickets each from Smit and Maharaj left the visitors in even further bother on 60 for eight after 10.2 overs.
Friend, who ended as the top-scorer with 23 off 14, was last man out as the Dolphins celebrated climbing to an insurmountable second on the table.