Tabraiz Shamsi's match haul of 12 for 173 and centuries from Dean Elgar (130) and Qaasim Adams (167) in the first innings lifted Titans to an eight-wicket win over Warriors, a result that helped stretch their lead at the top of the table.
Titans were set 140 to chase in the final innings, a target they overhauled inside 30 overs thanks to tournament top-scorer Heino Kuhn's 67, after rain washed out the first session of the final day.
After choosing to bat, Warriors found themselves in trouble at 78 for 4 before Somila Seyibokwe (101) and Kelly Smuts (67) combined to add 157 for the fifth wicket to take their side past 200. Shamsi, however, hit back by taking the last seven wickets of the innings to restrict Warriors to 282, finishing with figures of 7 for 93.
Titans' strong response of 399 was built on Elgar and Adams' 176-run fifth-wicket stand, after being reduced to 95 for 4. After Elgar fell for 130, Adams carried on to make his career-best score of 167, stringing together vital lower-order partnerships that took Titans close to 400. No other batsman managed a score more than 23.
Shamsi came to the fore in the second innings as well by cutting through Warriors' top order. Colin Ackermann's 72 was the only score of note as Shamsi and Marchant de Lange (3 for 69) left Warriors reeling at 181 for 7. Gihahn Cloete and Sisanda Magala then combined to add a crucial 65-run stand for the eighth wicket, helping Warriors reach 256.
A fine all-round performance by Werner Coetsee in the first innings and a patient half-century from Pite van Biljon in the second set up Knights' three-wicket win against Cape Cobras in Bloemfontein.
In the first innings, the bowlers cut through the Cobras top order, reducing them to 146 for 6. Dane Vilas, then made a counter-attacking 157 to help his side overcome the early wobble and cross 300. He found good support from Dane Piedt (44) as the pair added 132 for the seventh wicket. Coetsee was the pick of Knights' bowlers, producing returns of 4 for 62.
In response, Knights also suffered a top-order collapse that saw them reeling at 104 for 6. Coetsee then took charge of his side's innings with a steady 149 that helped Knights secure a 35-run lead. He was helped by lower-order contributions from Corne Dry and Malusi Siboto who made 40 and 44 respectively. Shadley van Schalkwyk also chipped in with 35 at No.8. Piedt picked up figures of 5 for 106.
Inspite of captain Omphile Ramela's 109 and fifties from Andrew Puttick (64) and Justin Ontong (57), Knights dealt the Cobras regular blows to keep them to 291. Puttick and Ramela shared a 165-run stand for the second wicket after opener Simon Khomari fell for a duck in the first over. Duanne Olivier and van Schalkwyk then went about mopping up the lower order to help set their side a target of 257.
In their chase, Knights were wobbly at 113 for 4 before van Biljon helped the Knights home with three wickets in hand, on the final day.
A final day washout meant that Lions had to settle for a draw against Dolphins at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg.
After opting to bat, Lions had piled up an imposing 516 for 5 before declaring, on the back of centuries from Dominic Hendricks (167) and Rassie van der Dussen(130) . Opener Stephen Cook (70) and Temba Bavuma (94) played the support roles with half-centuries, before Lions declared on the second day.
Lions' bowlers built on their batsmen's strong performance by reducing Dolphins to 126 for 5. Imraan Khan (64), Daryn Smit (88) and 44 from Keshav Maharaj helped Dolphins reach 259 for 9 at the end of the third day.
Rassie van der Dussen
South African Domestic Season