Titans stun Lions as play-off race remains open

A scrambled final-ball single helped the Momentum Multiply Titans steal a thrilling derby win over log-leaders DP World Lions and ensure the race for the Cricket South Africa (CSA) T20 Challenge play-offs goes down to the wire after wins for Hollywoodbets Dolphins and World Sports Betting Western Province on Friday.

Dafabet Warriors, who were the stand-out team for most of the competition thus far, also blew their chance of moving back to the top of the table when they suffered a third straight loss – this time against Auto Investments North West Dragons.

But the big result of the evening came at SuperSport Park where the hosts claimed a 2-wicket victory over their cross Jukskei rivals, who missed the chance of confirming home advantage in the last four.

In a tight affair, the Titans won the toss, bowled first and restricted the Lions to 154/8 thanks in the main to David Wiese (1/22), Lungi Ngidi (2/26) and Dayyaan Galiem (1/20).

Reeza Hendricks (48) top-scored for the visitors, who also had 20s from Proteas captain Temba Bavuma, Delano Potgieter (both 21) and Wiaan Mulder (25).

The Titans made a bright start to the chase after openers Rivaldo Moonsamy (24) and Lhuan-dre Pretorius (29) put on 49 in 5.5 overs, but they then lost their way when Codi Yusuf (1/25), Evan Jones (2/33), Mulder (1/24) and impressive rookie Nqaba Peter (2/29) all struck.

That left the defending champions heading for defeat at 135/8 with two overs to go.

However, Corbin Bosch (19*) and Lungi Ngidi (2*) managed to get the 20 required, including the former stealing a bye from the last ball to take the hosts to a priceless win, one that helped them cling on to fourth place on the table.

Province remained hot on their heels in the play-off race after they crushed the Gbets Rocks by 63 runs in their own Cape derby at Boland Park in Paarl.

Kyle Verreynne (77* off 42 balls, 5 fours, 5 sixes) starred with the bat for the Cape Town side as they posted 173/4 after winning the toss and batting.

Beuran Hendricks (3/18) and Onke Nyaku (3/27) then grabbed three wickets apiece to blow away the Boland side for 110 in 17.4 overs.

In KwaZulu-Natal, meanwhile, the Dolphins kept their chances of a home semi-final alive by also claiming a crushing derby win at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium in Durban. They thumped AET Tuskers by eight wickets thanks to seven wickets shared between Okuhle Cele and Andile Simelane.

The former was outstanding on his way to a wonderful career-best return of 4/13 in 3.3 overs, while the latter produced figures of 4-1-21-3 – the pair skittling their rivals from Pietermaritzburg for just 108 in 18.3 overs.

Jon-Jon Smuts (49*) and Grant Roelofsen (23) then did the bulk of the scoring to help the Dolphins chase down the target with 5.5 overs to spare.

Finally in Potchefstroom, a strong all-round performance from the Dragons helped them overcome the Warriors by six wickets at JB Marks Oval.

Batting first after losing the toss, the visitors were kept to 145/7 with two wickets each by Gideon Peters (2/28) and Kerwin Mungroo (2/29).

Matthew Breetzke (45) top-scored for the Warriors, before Meeka-Eel Prince (22), Raynard van Tonder (31) and Wihan Lubbe (39*) all played key hands in the chase as the home side won with nine balls to spare.

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