Robbie Frylinck's devastating post-rain spell turned the tide for the Nashua Dolphins as they beat the Western Cape Cobras by one run in another thrilling Standard Bank Pro20 match at Kingsmead.
Initially set 178 for victory, the Cobras were interrupted by rain on 47 for one after 4.1 overs. After a 45-minute delay, their revised target was 146 in 16 overs, meaning they needed another 99 runs in 11.5 overs, which looked well within their scope with JP Duminy well set.
But Frylinck completed his over by bowling a rare maiden and then swung the game the Dolphins' way by removing Duminy (22), by virtue of a coolly-taken return catch, and Henry Davids (6) off successive deliveries. He then added the wicket of Wesley Euley (9) to finish with outstanding figures of three for 18, his skiddy deliveries no doubt being helped by the moisture on the pitch.
Strike bowler Yusuf Abdullah then returned for an over and did his job, removing Warren Swan (20) and Vernon Philander (0), Frylinck catching another steepler, off successive deliveries.
But a dreadful over from Lance Klusener, in which he conceded 23 runs, including two sixes by Rory Kleinveldt, served to rush the Cobras back into the game.
The final over dawned with 11 runs needed and young spinner Morne van Vuuren was the only bowler left to deliver it. He conceded just three runs off the first four balls, but Con de Lange then smashed a straight drive back over his head for four.
Once again it came down to the final delivery at Kingsmead and, with four runs needed, Van Vuuren managed to get fingertips to another straight hit by De Lange and only two runs could be taken.
Benji Hector was left stranded at the other end on 31 not out off 21 balls as this time the Dolphins kept their nerve until the end.
There had been no hint of the drama to come as Cobras openers Adam Bacher (28 off 14 balls) and Duminy thrashed 42 runs off the first 22 balls before Doug Watson dived forward at third man to intercept a flying edge from Bacher off Andrew Tweedie. The same combination claimed the crucial wicket of Kleinveldt in the penultimate over, with Watson snatching a great running catch at long-on.
Hashim Amla's quickfire half-century had earlier taken the Dolphins to a competitive 177 for five.
Amla's career-best 57, off just 38 balls with four fours and a six, added the finishing touches to a Dolphins innings that enjoyed a fine start from openers Imraan Khan and Watson.
The Dolphins had won the toss and chosen to bat first on a benign Kingsmead pitch and Khan and Watson raced to 54 in six overs before Philander had Watson caught at deep mid-on with his fifth delivery. Watson had bashed 27 off 20 balls, with five boundaries.
Philander pegged back the run-rate in a superb spell of three overs for 13 runs and a frustrated Khan, who had scored 35 off 21 balls, drove a blockhole ball to extra cover and ran, but was beaten by Bacher's outstanding direct hit on one stump.
Ahmed Amla (2) came and went in a hurry, but brother Hashim once again dispelled the myth that he is not a limited-overs star with great placement and timing. He also harried a fine fielding side with some brilliant running between the wickets and his superb stand of 75 off 48 balls with Dale Benkenstein (26) gave the Dolphins innings the late surge they were looking for.
Benkenstein's 19-ball innings was ended when Kleinveldt ran him out with a direct hit from wide midwicket and Alan Dawson beat Amla with an excellent yorker three balls later.
Frylinck scored freely in the closing overs, however, blazing a four and two sixes in his 22 not out off 10 balls to ensure the Dolphins set a reasonable score for the Cobras to chase.
The Cobras bowlers had been struggling before the introduction of Philander, and he also delivered the final over in a beautiful display of bowling that saw him finish with one for 24. Dawson was also tidy, taking one for 29 in his four overs.