The Highveld Lions duly dismissed the Cape Cobras by an innings as the Sunfoil Series went into the final straight as a two-horse race.
The Titans did what they needed to to crush the Knights on Saturday, maintaining their position at the top of the log, but the way the Lions set about demolishing the Cobras, they gave themselves extra bonus points to narrow the gap. The Titans, on 86.14 lead by just 3.98, with the only other team in the frame, the Knights, in third place, are nearly 24 points further back.
The Cobras resumed their follow-on innings at 186-3, still 136 runs behind at Potchefstroom, but they lasted just 13 overs before they were dismissed for 244, losing by an innings and 78 runs. Hardus ended with 4-42 to go with his two from the first innings, ending the game by bowling a belligerent Rory Kleinveldt for 26 off 27, while left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin picked up three in each outing.
After their dismal loss to the Lions in the One-Day Cup, the Cobras season has been a miserable one.
It was a similar story in East London, where the Warriors batted for 21 over before losing by an innings and 54. The Dolphins with two wins from six, are in fourth position on 58.62 points while the Warriors are still without a win, bottom of the log.
Just four matches remain as the fight between the Titans and the defending champions heats up.