A superb hundred from Reeza Hendricks gave the Highveld Lions a last-ball six-wicket victory over the Dolphins at Potchefstroom.
Until the 19th over, the Lions seemed to be in command as Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen put on 158 in pursuit of 169 for victory; but then four wickets fell in the space of 10 balls, requiring Wiaan Mulder to smash a four off his first ball to take his team over the line.
It moved the Lions up to second on the log with eight points, still a massive 11 behind the seemingly unstoppable Titans, who hammered the Cobras by seven wickets on Sunday.
Hendricks ended on 102 off 72 balls with 12 fours, while Van der Dussen quietly accumulated 57 off 42 balls (5×4, 1×6) until, in the 19th over, he was stumped off a slow ball from Andile Phehlukwayo.
The lanky paceman caused a ripple when he had Mangaliso Mosehle caught behind off the next ball, and in the last over Nicky van den Bergh was trapped lbw by Robbie Frylinck. Dwaine Pretorius was run out going for a second run. The Lions were four runs shy with one ball to go, but Mulder stepped up to the plate.
Earlier, it was the determined rearguard fight of Sibonelo Makhanya who struck an excellent 46 off 34 balls, which gave the Dolphins some hope of defending a total of 168.
The loss of Sarel Erwee (2) and Dane Vilas (11) before the end of the fourth over put them on the back foot after they elected to bat, but Morne van Wyk did his best to stabilise the innings, hammering 42 off 30 balls with four fours and two sixes. He saw the Dolphins through the powerplay without further damage, taking command and keeping the strike, with a placid Khaya Zondo helping to take the score to 60.
Aaron Phangiso then struck a double blow with his left-arm spin, first bowling Zondo for eight and having Van Wyk stumped by Mosehle the following over, leaving the Dolphins high and dry again at 73-4 at the halfway mark.
Makhanya then took up the challenge with sporadic support from Phehlukwayo (10) and Frylinck (22 off 18), enhancing his score by taking 18 runs off Mulder in the 19th over.
The run rate of 8.40 was almost enough.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix