The Titans escaped defeat by the skin of their teeth when bad light stopped play with the Dolphins needing 18 runs off four overs.
In a finish more akin to ODIs, Keshav Maharaj (39 off 22) and Andile Phehlukwayo (40 off 24), batting at 7 and 8, put on 58 runs in six overs to take the Dolphins to the brink of victory after being offered a target of 354 off 71 overs. The Titans ended with seven men on the boundary to stop the flow.
A draw was the probable outcome when the Titans took their overnight score from 78-0 to 208-4 on Sunday morning, with Dean Elgar advancing to 66 off 135 and Heino Kuhn to 80 off 126 (9×4, 1×6).
The Dolphins lost the hero of the first innings, Sarel Erwee, for nought, but up stepped Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who completed his 13th first-class century; one which eluded him in the first innings by eight runs. He and Jonathan Vandiar (69) put on 160 in 42 overs to provide a base for the assault.
But Marchant de Lange was on fire, and it was he who dismissed Van Jaarsveld for 122, to leave the Dolphins precariously placed at 249-5. De Lange’s four wickets had destroyed the top order, and when Morne van Wyk was bowled by Henry Davids for 15 off 15, the Dolphins looked even more unstable.
But fortune favours the brave and the big-hitters. Phehlukwayo had blasted three sixes and two fours and Maharaj two sixes and two fours when the evening closed in to rob them of a deserved win.
The Titans nonetheless took a big step forward in the race to the title. Their vigorous efforts at the start of their match, when they gained 6.94 bonus points increased the gap at the top of the log to 7.92 over the Highveld Lions. Three matches remain, including what could be a decider between the Titans and the Lions on 31 March at Centurion.
The Highveld Lions went down tamely to the Knights, beaten by 10 wickets and collecting just four points.
The Lions were always on the back foot when they resumed play on Sunday at 128-5, a lead of just 24 runs. Five overs into the day, the overnight batsmen, Temba Bavuma (20) and Dwaine Pretorius (29) had gone, and it took another 22 to overcome the limited resistance offered by Bjorn Fortuin (28) and Nono Pongola, who ended unbeaten on 31 off 51 balls. Duanne Olivier ended with four wickets from the innings and seven from the match for a collective 97 runs from 33.4 overs.
Reeza Hendricks and Michael Erlank both hit leisurely fifties to reach the target of 115 off 34 overs.