The Lions kept themselves in the hunt for a play-off place after two superb death overs by Malusi Siboto and Wiaan Mulder held the Titans at bay, following a thrilling run-chase and a sparkling 111 by Jonathan Vandiar in their One-Day Cup clash in Benoni on Thursday.
Chasing a daunting 305 runs for victory, the Titans were cruising along with their score on 288 for six with 12 balls in hand. Enter Siboto (1-50), who conceded just four runs in the penultimate over (along with snapping up a wicket) before Mulder (2-46) closed the match out with only five runs conceded off the final over.
It meant the home side could only muster 297 for eight in reply, handing the visitors a massive lifeline heading into the last round of regular season action, which will be played out on Saturday.
The Lions have moved level with the Knights on 14 points with the pair trailing the Warriors by four points, in doing so creating a three-way tussle for the final spot in the top four.
The drama of this exciting encounter centred around more than just the final two overs, as there were some extremely impressive performances from players on both sides throughout the match.
The Titans’ Jonathan Vandiar scored his seventh List A century (111 runs off 124 balls, 14×4), while the Player of the Match, Dominic Hendricks of the Lions, struck an equally important 93 (110 balls, 9×4).
There was also good support for the latter from Kagiso Rapulana, who scored 60 off 72 balls (3×4, 2×6) in an opening stand of 135 after the Lions won the toss and batted first at Willowmoore Park.
Wihan Lubbe followed their lead with a quick-fire 51 runs off 42 balls (7×4, 1×6), with Wiaan Mulder plundering 36 runs off just 29 balls to give the visitors a strong total.
Junior Dala continued his good recent form with the ball by grabbing four wickets for 54 runs.
Bjorn Fortuin (2-59) and Nandre Burger (2-53) pegged the Titans back to 32 for two early on, before a big stand of 126 for the third wicket between Vandiar and captain Dean Elgar (62 off 67 balls, 3×4, 2×6) put the home team on track for victory.
Even after the stand-in skipper departed, Grant Thomson (31) added 62 for the third wicket with the centurion to take the score to 220 for three in the 38th over.
However, the chase lost momentum as the Lions held their nerve at the death to complete the derby double and stay alive in the competition, with one last round of fixtures to be played out.
Momentum One-Day Cup table
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix