Fifties from Richard Levi and Dane Vilas handed the Cobras a seven-wicket victory over the Dolphins in Durban, despite 79 from Kevin Pietersen.
It was just the Cobras’ second victory of the campaign, but it leaves the race for the final qualifier spot wide open, with the Lions in third place on 16 points, the Dolphins on 15 and the Cobras on 12.
It continues an extremely inconsistent season for the Dolphins, who have yet to string together back-to-back wins. After the Lions successfully defended 157 in their clash at Kingsmead against the Warriors earlier in the day, the Dolphins would have fancied their chances of defending the 179 they set for victory.
It took excellent partnerships to get the hosts there, as Morne van Wyk (44) and Pietersen put together a 63-run stand, before Pietersen found another handy partner in the in-form Khaya Zondo, who smashed 40 off 28 balls. Former England legend Pietersen, playing in front of his old faithful, struck a six in each of the last three overs to race to 79 off 51 balls.
The Cobras never allowed themselves to get bogged down as their powerful top five all chipped in. Wayne Parnell has proved a useful option at the top of the order and hit three fours before falling for a nine-ball 16, before Levi and Vilas, who both struck 54, hit 50 runs in a fruitful five-over period. Kieron Pollard provided the finishing touch, hitting three sixes for his 31 off 21 to get them over the line with eight balls still remaining.
Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images
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