Centuries by Stephen Cook and Reeza Hendricks enabled the Highveld Lions to end their Sunfoil campaign with a resounding nine-wicket win over the Cobras in Potchefstroom.
The result was academic as far as the series was concerned after the Titans pulled off an incredible victory over the Knights in two days in Centurion, but after two losses and seven draws, the Lions needed to regain some pride.
They were offered a target of 257 when the Cobras declared their second innings at 364-3, but Cook (116) and Hendricks (119 not out) were untroubled.
It was always a long shot for the Cobras, who needed to win to match the Titans, but their hopes disappeared when they were bundled out for 217, to which the Lions replied with 325. The Cobras needed other results to go their way, but the Titans definitely had other ideas.
It was a bittersweet result for Andrew Puttick, playing his last game for the Cobras, who signed off with his 27th first-class hundred.
Puttick has been a true servant of the game, and to Western Province and the Cobras in particular, having played 173 first-class matches since making his debut in the 2000-01 season. He scored his first century in just his third first-class game, while still a teenager.
Since then, he has scored almost 11,000 runs, at an average of just over 40, with a best of 250 (not out).
In this latest foray, he ran up 116 off 241 balls, most of them in partnership with Zubayr Hamza, who pushed aggressively to 121 off 182 balls with 18 fours and two sixes. They put on 213 for the second wicket as the Cobras built a lead of 256. Stiaan van Zyl contributed 56 and Kyle Verryenne 47 at a run a ball.
The Lions were certainly up for the challenge, batting at almost 6.5 an over.
As expected, the Warriors drew their match against the Dolphins in Durban. Too much time had been lost to rain for them to make a meaningful attempt at a result and they would have been hoping for draws in the other matches.
The Warriors declared their first innings at 320-9, thanks to 105 by Gihahn Cloete, a solid 44 from Jon-Jon Smuts, and a maiden fifty by Sinethemba Qeshile on debut in this series and in just his third first-class match.
As the dust settled on a bizarre series, in which just seven wins were recorded in 30 matches, the Titans (143.96) are champions by just 1.52 points, with two wins, ahead of the Warriors (142.44). The Cobras ended third on 133.36.
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix