David Miller was able to find the form that eluded him in India as his unbeaten half-century took the Dolphins to a six-run win against the Titans in their RamSlam T20 Challenge match at Centurion on Sunday night.
Miller was able to double his score off his next 10 balls after being dropped on 31, as his brilliant 62 not out off 32 balls carried the Dolphins to 179 for four after they were sent in to bat. The left-hander survived the crucial let-off in the 18th over as Marchant de Lange put down a comfortable catch at backward point after Miller failed to clear the fielder with a cut off wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.
Miller then hit Chris Morris for 19 runs in the penultimate over and then belted the hapless De Lange, who conceded 48 runs in three overs, for 14 off the last as he finished with eight fours and two sixes.
It provided the Dolphins with the strong finish they needed after they had slid away in the middle overs, thanks to excellent bowling by Albie Morkel (4-0-28-2) and spinners Shamsi (4-0-31-0) and Henry Davids (3-0-14-1).
The Dolphins had started strongly with Morne van Wyk (41 off 29), Cameron Delport (25 off 18) and Kevin Pietersen (22 off 21) taking them to 88 for one in the 10th over, but Morkel then dismissed Pietersen to restrict the visitors just as they were gaining dangerous momentum.
Cody Chetty (21 not out off 16) provided able support to Miller in their unbeaten fifth-wicket stand of 63 off 35 balls.
Morkel, having shone with the ball, then so nearly carried the Titans to victory with his blazing 67 off 34 balls, before being run out trying to get back for a second in the final over.
The Dolphins used their spinners well, with Prenelan Subrayen managing to remove the dangerous Quinton de Kock (11) in the second over, before seamer Andile Phehlukwayo removed Grant Mokoena (6) and Heino Kuhn (5) in successive overs to leave the Titans under pressure on 54 for three in the eighth over.
Opener Henry Davids went to 31 off 26 balls before left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj bowled him round his legs and Subrayen then returned to claim the key wickets of Farhaan Behardien (11), Chris Morris (14) and Mangaliso Mosehle (11), the batsmen battling to get after his slow off-spin.
Morkel hit Maharaj for three sixes and two fours as 30 runs came off his last two overs, but Subrayen conceded just five runs in the 18th over and dismissed Mosehle to finish with four for 22, the third-best T20 figures for the Dolphins and best against the Titans.
Phehlukwayo (4-0-29-2) then bowled an outstanding penultimate over, conceding just four runs to leave Kyle Abbott with 24 runs to protect in the final over.