DURBAN – The Titans still sit atop the Sunfoil Series table, with just four rounds of action remaining in the domestic season.
The men from Pretoria shared the points with the Cape Cobras at Willowmoore Park on Sunday, as the highveld weather called a premature end on a match that was already heading towards stalemate.
The Cobras had control of what would happen on the final day, given their first-innings lead, but they couldn’t dangle too big a carrot for a side that still have plenty of quality at their disposal.
Ultimately, Dane Piedt batted for 50 overs in the second innings, his side ending on 185/6.
Aviwe Mgijima (43), Kyle Verreynne and Zubayr Hamza (36 apiece) kept the visitors ticking along at about 3.5 to the over, but they knew that they were fighting the clock more than the Titans.
Piedt gave his bowlers about 50 overs to do something special, while handing the Titans a target of 268.
The Titans lost Tony de Zorzi, caught behind off Lizaad Williams, and an aggressive Dean Elgar was caught and bowled by Dane Piedt for 27 off 32 balls.
At 57/2, the Titans were simply batting time, and an afternoon change in weather ended matters with about two hours of play still left.
The Cobras will leave with their confidence buoyed, but the Titans are still in control of their charge for a domestic double.
In Bloemfontein, the Knights were left frustrated by a dogged Dolphins response in their follow-on innings.
The Dolphins had already seen opener Sarel Erwee reach a century on the third evening, and they found more heroes on the final day.
Erwee fell in the morning session, to the speedy Marchant de Lange, but only after he had registered a priceless 128.
Before that, the burly Vaughn van Jaarsveld had reached a half-century, and then fell to Shadley van Schalkwyk. Typically, the left-hander had scored his runs in a hurry – his 51 coming off just 64 balls.
Erwee and Van Jaarsveld both fell with the score on 246, before Sibonelo Makhanya fell for a duck, and the total on 247/4.
The Knights had their tails up again, a victory certainly back on the agenda.
But they hadn’t reckoned with first innings centurion Senuran Muthusamy, and the cool head of Dane Vilas.
Muthusamy added a steady 73 not out to his hundred in the first dig, again showing his growing influence in the Dolphins middle-order.
At the other end, Vilas exhibited his value to the side this season, playing his shots and helping himself to a wonderful 102 not out off just 105 balls.
Given the match situation, and what was to come after him, his attacking play knocked the stuffing out of the Knights, and hands were shook long before day’s end.
On Saturday, the Warriors had defeated the Lions by 29 runs in a low-scoring affair in East London, a result which was put the Eastern Cape franchise right back in the mix for the most coveted trophy of the domestic season.