Paceman Birch ended with the superb figures of 10-5-15-4, while Ayabulela Gqamane nabbed 3/18 as the hosts were bundled out for just 110 off 28.3 overs. The visitors then reached 111/1 off 23.5 overs with Colin Ackermann striking his first half-century of the season to end unbeaten on 59 off 83 balls (eight fours, one six).
The win saw the Warriors move to second on the log, on 23 points, and all but secured the Eastern Cape franchise a play-off place, while the Dolphins slipped to their sixth loss of the season to remain rooted to the bottom of the table. The Warriors play the Cape Cobras in their final round-robin match in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are the only team that are completely out of the running for a play-off place and their final score against the Warriors was their lowest total in the competition’s history, eclipsing their previous lowest total of 137/9, off 45 overs, against the Eagles in the 2008/09 season.
The Durban side had won the toss and elected to bat but crumbled to 65/9 after 21 overs in the face of an inspired new-ball spell from Birch, who bowled his 10 overs unchanged. Only four Dolphins’ batsmen reached double figures while the innings was only given some late gloss by a 45-run 10th-wicket partnership between Keshav Maharaj (43*), his highest List A total, and Mthokozisi Shezi (10). Ackermann and Jon-Jon Smuts then took the Warriors to the brink of victory with a 108-run opening stand.
Smuts was the more aggressive of the pair as he scored 49 off 59 deliveries (seven fours, one six) before being dismissed by medium-pacer Andile Phehlukwayo.