A career-best 74 by rookie Delano Potgieter coupled with two wickets by Nono Pongolo helped the table-topping Lions step up their drive towards victory in the Jukskei derby after the third day of action against the Titans in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The visitors reached an early stumps – called early on account of lightning and rain – on 146 for four, chasing a monumental 465 for victory at the Wanderers.
All-rounder Potgieter was the star performer of the day when they batted, patiently absorbing 172 balls in his innings, which included 11 fours, to help the defending champions amass 287 all out in their second innings.
They had started the morning on 180 for six, which was 360 ahead in the contest after the abysmal 121 all out by their rivals the previous day, with Bjorn Fortuin (19) first to fall to pick of the bowlers Dayyaan Galiem (4/45).
But Potgieter and Pongolo (38) then added 80 for the eighth wicket to further extend the Lions’ grip on the game.
They were finally bowled out in 87.1 overs – the star batsman of the day the last man to fall.
Aiden Markram and Wesley Marshall then offered the Titans a decent start in their massive chase, before the Test hopeful fell for quick-fire 30 that included six fours.
The opening stand was worth 49 until Pongolo ended it, with 51 then coming for the next wicket between Marshall, the top-scorer with 53 (77 balls, 10 fours), and Jonathan Vandiar (13).
After both fell within the space of nine runs, along with the departure of captain Grant Thomson (18) not long after, Heinrich Klaasen (26 not out) carried the hopes of the Titans until the close.