An unbeaten 49 by Dominic Hendricks guided the Highveld Lions to a priceless five-wicket win over the Knights on the final day of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
The innings of the left-hander proved to be a critical one in a low-scoring chase of 76 after the title-chasing visitors slumped to 55/5, before reaching their target in 26 overs.
None of his teammates managed doubled figures, but Hendricks’ effort proved enough to guide his side to a victory that kept them alive and kicking in the trophy race.
With one round to go, they are a little over three points behind leaders the Cape Cobras, with the Warriors’ draw against the Dolphins ending their interest in the 2018/19 competition.
Meanwhile, the result at the Mangaung Oval appeared to be a formality even before the start of play on day four, although the home side did their best to alter the script with a fighting display.
The Knights began the morning precariously placed on 95/5, and still trailing by 38. But 70 (101 balls, 12 fours) from Andries Gous and 45 via Romano Terblanche helped them more than double that score to 208.
Nono Pongolo ended as the pick of the bowlers with 4/49 in 18 overs.
That left the Lions needing small target, but they made heavy weather of it thanks to a four-wicket burst by Jacques Snyman (4/24).
However, Hendricks and Wiaan Mulder (8 not out) took them over the line, keeping the pressure on the Cobras at the summit.
4-Day Domestic Series Standings
Cape Cobras 171.46, Highveld Lions 168.32, Warriors 128.18, Knights 108.04, Titans 99.66, Dolphins 92.96
Cricket South Africa