Heino Kuhn passed the 1 000 runs landmark at the second time of asking as the Titans stood on the brink of taking the Sunfoil Series title.
The franchise’s Player of the Season had been on 999 going into this match, but was dismissed for 0 in the first innings as the Titans struggled to 164. But once the Cobras had been bowled out for 285, a lead of 124, Kuhn grabbed the opportunity with enthusiasm. He slammed his fourth century of the season, before being dismissed on 127 off the bowling of Dane Piedt (who ended with 7-106) as the Titans were bowled out for 256 in 56.4 overs, with a lead of 135.
Kuhn has been a mainstay of the Titans season, scoring three centuries on his way to becoming the first South African batsman to score more than 1 000 in a season since Rilee Rossouw, Dean Elgar and Stephen Cook all passed the mark in an extravagant summer in 2009-10.
Earlier, Wayne Parnell continued to stake his claim for higher honours by following his five-for bowling effort with an excellent 59 for the Cobras.
The Titans had started this final round of matches with a lead of 12.62 over the Lions, who crashed out spectacularly on day one, bowled out for 68, and a lead of 13.24 over the Knights. But the Free Staters have been able to gather just two bowling points as the Dolphins ploughed on to 375. They will need at least five batting points and a victory to sneak in.
They were the only team with a slight mathematical chance of catching the Titans, but their quest for bowling points has been reined in. They closed the day on 143-2 off 42.3 overs.
In Port Elizabeth, the Lions were trying to salvage pride after the Warriors, seeking only their second win of the season, ran up 375, with a solid display all the way down to No 10.
When stumps were drawn, the Lions were 76-4, still 231 runs behind.