Dane Paterson picked up 5-63 as the Titans were bowled out for 304 to give the Cobras their first win in the Sunfoil Series by 170 runs at Paarl on Sunday.
The Titans had been facing a massive target for 475 to win, but they looked set to at least save the game when they resumed their innings at 144-1 on Sunday morning. While Dean Elgar (79) and Henry Davids (77) fell in a five-over spell and Roelof van der Merwe followed soon after, the visitors rallied with a stand of 82 between Graeme van Buuren (59) and Qaasim Adams (40).
At 271-4, they would have fancied their chances. But Paterson, armed with the new ball, dismissed both lbw and ran through the tail in 13 overs.
The 25-year-old has now picked up 13 wickets in his last two Sunfoil Series games after finishing with match figures of 7 for 95.
The Cobras remain bottom of the table despite picking up 18.16 points, but they have a game in hand. The Titans may look back on this as a turning point, for they gathered just 5.5 points and lost ground on the log-leaders, the Highveld Lions.
Warriors v Lions, East London
Bad light stopped play with the Lions just 17 run short of another resounding victory.
Chasing 98 to win after bowling the Warriors out for 272, the Lions overcame an early wobble to reach 81 for four with 14 overs still scheduled to be bowled. But the light closed in, forcing a draw and the Lions had to settle for just 7.66 points, which at least extended their lead at the top of the table to 19.22 points after the Titans fell short at Paarl.
A century stand between Colin Ingram and Darryl Brown made a hugely important contribution after the Warriors, who started the day at 81-3, had slumped to 100-5.
Ingram (52) and Brown (58) put a halt tot he slide, and consumed valuable time untilChris Morris (3-53) dismissed both and got the Lions back on track. At 240 for nine a swift end looked likely for the hosts, but Sisanda Magala and Basheeru-Deen Walters added 32 for the final wicket.
With 35 overs to reach their target, the Lions’ real race was against the light, even after Birch (4-13) took advantage of their eagerness and stunned them with a four-wicket blitz in the opening nine overs that reduced them to 33 for four.
Alviro Petersen’s 29 off 25 balls had already set them on their way, and Temba Bavuma (25) and Thami Tsolekile (21) looked set to finish the job until the darkness closed in.
Dolphins v Knights, Durban
The Knights, forced to follow on when 218 behind overnight, held firm throughout the day to force a draw against the Dolphins when bad light stopped play. Facing a total of 455-5 declared, the Knights had been bowled out for 237, thanks to a career-best return from Mathew Puillans (6-67) and Daryn Dupavillon (3-56).
But the rain that shortened the third day was to prove a huge factor, for it robbed the Dolphins of time; and time was want was lacking when they enforced the follow-on on Sunday morning, hoping of quick wickets.
Geritt Cloete (80) and Reeza Hendricks (45) ensured that did not happen putting on 110 for the first wicket. Still, one that partnership was broken, the Dolphins bowlers ket chipping away at the Knights line-up ensuring another partnership did not develop, with Pillans taking four for 62, his first 10-wicket haul in a first-class match.
The Dolphins must have been greatly encouraged when the when the ninth wicket went down at 202, still 17 runs shy of making the Dolphins bat. But then Malusi Siboto (30) was joined by Quinton Friend (13), and the two doggedly resisted everything thrown at them, adding 32 until the light ran out.
The Dolphins remain in third place on the log, but could make up some ground as they have a game in hand
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Warriors v Lions
Cobras v Titans
Dolphins v Knights