Robbie Frylinck's 27 not out off 14 balls made it look a lot simpler than it was, as they got home with three balls to spare. Photo Credit: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

On a night of tension in the RamSlam T20 Challenge, the Dolphins looked to their warhorses - and the old dogs didn't blink under the bright Friday night lights.

Morne van Wyk came back 'home' to Bloemfontein, and broke hearts, as his 70 not out was the cornerstone of the Dolphins' six-wicket triumph in a match reduced to 17 overs apiece by rain.

Van Wyk got help from a brutal Dane Vilas and a calm Robbie Frylinck, as the Durban franchise kept their title hopes alive.

Having won the toss and elected to field, the Dolphins served up their worst bowling performance of the season, in arguably their most important fixture to date.

There were wides, a five wides, and massive fluctuation in length. The fielding was also lackadaisical, as they allowed too many easy runs for the home side.

Andile Phehlukwayo travelled for a mighty six off his very first ball, as Theunis de Bruyn deposited him into the grandstand roof.

Perhaps that was a sign of things to come, because Ryan McLaren plundered 24 runs off the Proteas' all-rounder's third and last over. 

That was part of three-over heist from the Knights, when they bludgeoned 54 runs to strong-arm their way back into the match.

That assault wiped away the sincere shift put in by Imran Tahir, whose spell of two for 23 looked to have put the Durbanites in charge.

Tahir's victims were undone by subtle changes of pace; the hitherto untroubled De Bruyn left groping and missing a straight one, while Rudi Second was flummoxed by a classic leg-break.

Alas, Ryan McLaren played a terrific hand (48 not out from 24 balls), while David Miller (46 not out) again stood tall for his adopted franchise, to undo Tahir's web.

The end result was 168 for four, a massive total, even on the sprawling turf that is found in Bloemfontein.

In stark contrast to their visitors, the Knights bowled with bruising intensity. Tearaway Marchant de Lange bowled like the wind, and got rid of Sarel Erwee with a combination of pace and in-your-face 'gees'.

The Dolphins needed a hero, as they started to drown in the swell of the mounting run-rate.

Van Wyk, back on familiar turf, took it upon himself, smearing and smiting  to the fence whenever he could. Vaughn van Jaarsveld bolted too soon, and gifted Eddie Leie a wicket in his opening over.

Vilas, growing in stature by the week in Durban, then blazed a brazen half-century, to get the Dolphins right back in the hunt. His priceless 51 was carved off just 22 balls, with six blows beyond the fence.

When he holed out, Phehlukwayo was gazumped up the order, but lasted just one ball.

As he did in Port Elizabeth, he tried too much too soon, and disappeared without impact.

It was a time for calm heads, and Van Wyk found an ally in the combative Frylinck, who hoisted McLaren over point for six and then edged him past short third-man for four.

That eased the tension, and Frylinck's 27 not out off 14 balls made it look a lot simpler than it was, as they got home with three balls to spare.

The Dolphins host the table-topping Titans on Sunday, with a chance to secure a home semi-final providing plenty of motivation.

IOL Sport

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