The Highveld Lions brushed aside the Knights to record their fifth win of the season and consolidate their position at the top of the Sunfoil table in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
Given that the Knights had started the day at 76 without loss from 27 overs, and looking determined to put up a fight, they were then dismissed on Sunday with the addition of 213 runs in 71 overs by a seemingly unstoppable Lions team. That gave them a lead of 97 with 30 overs remaining.
The Lions, who were cruelly deprived of victory by bad light just 17 runs short against the Warriors in their previous match, wasted no time in closing it off, with Stephen Cook (49 off 34 balls) and Rassie van der Dussen (46 off 55) needing just 14.3 overs to cross the line.
The Knights had added just 14 runs to their overnight score when Gihahn Cloete (37) fell to Kagiso Rabada. That started a slide that was briefly halted by a stand of 85 by Rudi Second (67) and Patrick Botha (42) for the fourth wicket. Hardus Viljoen ended that show of defiance and the Lions bowlers shared the honours, with Rabada taking 3-52, Dwaine Pretorius 3-35, Chris Morris 2-66 and Viljoen 2-60.
The Lions stayed 17.58 points clear of the Dolphins, whom they will take on in Durban next week.
Titans v Dolphins, Centurion
It was a brave, but ultimately futile fight as the Dolphins secured second place on the Sunfoil log with a three wicket win over the Titans. Set 177 to win, the Dolphins wobbled precariously, losing six wickets for 58 runs. Rowan Richards snapped up three of those, and Marchant de Lange two, before Morne van Wyk dug in, with the help of Calvin Savage.
Van Wyk, mainstay of the first innings with 81, ended unbeaten on 59. Savage contributed a carefully measured 53 off 142 balls to blunt the Titans attack. De Lange gained his third wicket when he dismissed Savage, but the stand of 116 had done the damage.
The Dolphins ended with 18.72 points from the game, keeping them in touch with the league leaders.points and now stand 17.58 points behind the Lions, while the Titans trail with 13.36 points in third place.
Cape Cobras v Warriors
The Warriors top-order batsmen mounted a stout defence and denied the Cape Cobras their second win of the series when they batted through the day to earn a creditable draw.
Facing a deficit of 257, they showed their determination by going to the close on Saturday at 88 without loss, but it was still going to be a long hard day at the crease.
First, David White and Michael Price extended their partnership to 155 when Robin Peterson broke through with his left-arm spin, dismissing White for 57 (off 173 balls). He followed that up by catching off his own bowling just six runs short of his century. But Colin Ackermann picked up where the openers left off and held firm for nearly three hours, accumulating 53 off 126 balls.
Even though Peterson was to pick up the wicket of Somila Seyibokwe (19), the door had been slammed shut and locked.
The Cobras had to settle for nine points and remain bottom of the table with two matches to play.