Makhanya century can't prevent Lions victory

Cape Town - A final day century by Sibonelo Makhanya was not enough to save the Dolphins as they slipped to a heavy nine-wicket loss to the Highveld Lions at Kingsmead in Durban on Monday. 

The right-hander made 128 (230 balls, 17 fours) as the hosts were dismissed for 319 in their follow-on innings, leaving the visitors a victory target of just 46. 

And the Johannesburg-based side knocked off those runs in 14.1 overs thanks to an unbeaten 22 from Reeza Hendricks to reignite the title race by putting pressure on the log-leading Cape Cobras.

For the hosts, it was a fourth loss in seven games this season and came hot on the heels of beating the same opponents in the previous game. 

Their Achilles’ heel was undoubtedly the woeful first-innings performance with the bat that saw them shot out for just 149 in response to 423 by the Lions. 

They resumed the final day already under pressure - on 209 for six and still trailing the away side by 65. 

Makhanya and Cody Chetty, who made 53 (81 balls, 8 fours), initially batted well as they extended their seventh wicket partnership to 94, before the stand was snapped by pick of the bowlers Beuran Hendricks (3/79). 

The pair erased the deficit when they were together and Ethan Bosch (28) gave the Dolphins hope of at least putting up some sort of a target after a stand of 35 with Makhanya. 

But that was broken when Malusi Siboto (2/50) finally ended the resistance of the latter and then the former, with Wiaan Mulder (2/38) wrapping up the tail. 

Man-of-the-match Stephen Cook (15) was the only wicket to fall in the chase, but it mattered little as the Lions cruised to a crucial win.