Despite the Northerns Titans having seen a determined second inning by the Central Gauteng Lions half an hour before tea on the final day, it wasn’t far from coach Mandla Mashimbyi to have kittens in the locker room for the next two-and-one — half an hour as they anxiously awaited the result of the Eastern Province Warriors game against the Free State Knights in Bloemfontein on Monday.
The Titans eventually ejected the Lions for 273 in their second innings, Mitchell van Buuren led the resistance with a wildly challenging 107, remarkably, his second century of the game. He was ably supported by Reeza Hendricks, who denied Northerns for more than four hours by scoring 89.
But off-spinner Simon Harmer continued to languish for the Titans and his 6/84 in 33.2 overs took his season tally to 44 wickets averaging just 19.29.
Northerns were left with just 62 to win and they did it in 13.1 overs with seven wickets in hand.
But Free State was busily collapsing in Bloemfontein, dropping to 82/8 with a lead of just 143, against the EP Warriors, who had declared their overnight score of 166/3 still 61 runs behind.
With the Titans winning in Centurion, Eastern Province had to win their game to claim the CSA 4-Day Series title.
It was a tactic that almost paid off as they threw superbly in swing-friendly conditions, Mthiwekhaya Nabe led the way 4/26 in 12 overs, while Akhona Mnyaka cleared Paballo Mogoera (4) and Raynard van Tonder (0) with consecutive deliveries.
Patrick Botha is released by the Knights, but the Northerns Titans may be inclined to give him a friendly look as his 38 on Monday, after his first innings century, was crucial in keeping the Warriors in the field until the rain came shortly before. the tea break.
The weather never improved and the umpires finally gave up play in Bloemfontein at 5pm, much to the delight of the Titans team in Centurion.
A new-looking Titans side triumphed thanks to an impressive all-round effort in the competition. The entire batting unit averaged over 40 all season – nine of them in total – while Harmer was well supported by seamen Lizaad Williams (10 wickets at 12.60), Aya Gqamane (14 at 28.57), Corbin Bosch (18 at 33 .22) and Junior Dala (11 out of 35.81).
It looks like everything is on track with the refurbishment at SuperSport Park, the Titans also finished second in the CSA T20 Challenge last week.
Scores in other games
KZN Dolphins 422 v Boland 422/8 declared (Pieter Malan 219*, Stiaan van Zyl 48, Shaun von Berg 40; Eathan Bosch 3/56, Prenelan Subrayen 3/124). Match drawn.
Western Province 576 v North-West 202 and 242 (Wesley Marshall 58, Senuran Muthusamy 101; George Linde 3-48). Western Province won by an innings and 132 runs.