Johannesburg - Vaughn van Jaarsveld struck a superb half-century as the Dolphins claimed their first one-day Cup victory of the season with a comprehensive 128-run win over the Knights in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
The left-hander blazed 91 off just 73 deliveries, including 12 fours and one six, and received excellent support from most of his team-mates, notably Cameron Delport (58), helping the visitors amass 311 for eight.
The Knights, batting without one of their key players after star batsman Reeza Hendricks hurt an ankle in the field, were restricted to just 183 for nine in 39 overs.
Craig Alexander was outstanding with the ball, claiming three for 31, while Imraan Khan (3/24) also shone in a chase that lacked any fluidity and saw Michael Erlank top score with 47.
The margin of victory also meant that Lance Klusener’s men walked away with a bonus-point win that lifted them from bottom to third on the log.
After winning the toss and batting first, the Dolphins made a bright start thanks to the attacking intent by Delport and Divan van Wyk.
The two put on 62 for the opening wicket, before the latter edged Dillon du Preez (3/65) to wicketkeeper JP Triegaardt for 25.
Delport went to his sixth career half century in 56 balls and along with Khan (17), omitted from the team for the opening three games, took the Dolphins past 100 in the 21st over, before both fell in quick succession to the spin of Werner Coetsee and Nicky Boje respectively.
Two productive partnerships, though, then built a firm foundation for the Durban outfit, with Van Jaarsveld combining with Cody Chetty (30) and David Miller (35) to add 138 runs between them.
Van Jaarsveld was eventually dismissed nine runs short of a deserved century by Ryan McLaren (2/55), but only after adding 47 in 4.2 overs with Robbie Frylinck (31 off 19), the Dolphins setting 312.
They lost another dangerman Rilee Rossouw (five) in just the third over when he was taken by a sharp Van Jaarsveld catch at short cover off Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Erlank and Coetsee (30) momentarily threatened to get their side back on track during a 45-run stand after Obus Pienaar and Ryan Bailey were dismissed, coming from nine overs.
However, the introduction of Khan as the fifth bowler tempted the two into attacking and both batsmen fell within the space of five deliveries from the part-timer either side of the 100.
He also accounted for Johan van der Wath (nought), before McLaren and Boje (31) added 67 for the seventh wicket to rekindle hopes.
Once Prenelan Subrayen broke their stand with the wicket of Boje, the challenge was effectively over.
Captain McLaren ended unbeaten on 39, but it proved in vain as the Knights dropped to fourth on the log. - Sapa