Albie Morkel scored a run-a-ball 61 to beat the Lions by 109 runs, while there was also a victory for the Cobras over the Dolphins.
The veteran Titans skipper, without the services of his brother Morne, who is preparing for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand, took the Centurion outfit out of trouble, before Junior Dala (3-21) and Eldred Hawken (3-40) backed him up with the ball.
It was enough to put them in first place after three rounds of matches, while it sent defending champions the Lions down to the bottom of the table.
After the Titans’ incredible record-breaking 400-5 against the Cobras on Friday, which saw Jonathan Vandiar and Henry Davids both score 150s, they were brought back to earth somewhat with 268-8. Davids continued his form with 63, but the next best score in the top six was 33 from Heino Kuhn as the Lions appeared to be in control.
Morkel was introduced at 156-5, and took it upon himself to smash three sixes and three fours for his 61, with the tail chipping in around him to give his side something to work with. Beuran Hendricks was the pick of the bowlers with 3-41.
Unfortunately for the Lions, they were never in it. Dominic Hendricks came in to captain the side with Stephen Cook unavailable due to Proteas commitments, while there was an exciting One Day Cup debut for 19-year-old all-rounder Wiaan Mulder. Neither of them could assist in the chase, scoring zero and four respectively.
Bjorn Fortuin’s 34 was the best score, as Dala and Hwaken pinned them back regularly. Dala was rewarded with the Man of the Match for his efforts as the Lions fell 109 runs short. Shaun von Berg and Davids took two wickets apiece.
Over in Pietermaritzburg, the Dolphins had the chance to hold on to top spot in the standings and maintain their perfect record, but the Cobras responded from their heavy defeat to the Titans on Friday with a well-worked victory.
The Dolphins openers Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Morne van Wyk did an excellent job of setting the platform, with the former scoring 54 off 52 balls and the experienced latter producing an excellent 111, but Rory Kleinveldt was on hand to set them back from there, finishing with figures of 4-48.
Richard Levi took the sting out of the chase with 52 off 35, while fellow opener Omphile Ramela consolidated with 62 off 90.
With the match going to the final over, the Cobras still needed 10 to win it, but they had the right men at the crease to pull it off. Dane Vilas (47 off 58) simply had to watch from the other end as Kleinveldt took two balls to do it, smashing a four and a six off Mthokosizi Shezi to win with four balls to spare.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images