Ryan Cartwright led another superb bowling display by the Momentum Multiply Titans as they completed a fine 10-wicket 4-Day Domestic Series win over their old rivals the Imperial Lions in the Jukskei derby in Centurion on Wednesday.
The rookie fast bowler claimed three for 46 to help send the log leaders and defending champions to 231 all out in their second innings at SuperSport Park, leaving a target of just eight that were chased down in 10 deliveries by the hosts.
It completed a defining win, or defeat in the case of the Lions, who have now lost their last two games to throw the title race wide open.
Two rounds ago, the title appeared to be a foregone conclusion as the Johannesburg-based side held a lead of more than 20 points at the summit.
That has been whittled down to just over six now ahead of the Titans, who temporarily climbed second, with the picture set to become even clearer after the round eight games are completed on Thursday.
Wandile Gwavu’s side had gone into the third day of their derby on 37 for none in their second innings, still 187 behind but will all 10 wickets intact.
However, they lost opener Joshua Richards first ball of the day when he was trapped leg before wicket by Cartwright, who before last week was yet to play a franchise game.
The other overnight man, Dominic Hendricks (42), though, shared in a strong 83-run second wicket stand with Reeza Hendricks to keep alive their sides’ hope of survival.
But Titans captain Grant Thomson (1/13) broke the stand, before Cartwright took out Kagiso Rapulana (6) to leave the Lions on 135 for three.
Reeza Hendricks did his best to keep the 2018/19 winners afloat, but was eventually trapped lbw by Hardus Viljoen (2/59) for a top score of 82 (115 balls, 14 fours).
That proved to be the beginning of the end, with Dayyaan Galiem (2/61) and Gregory Mahlokwana (2/23) claiming two wickets each to wrap things up for the home side and seal a lop-sided win.