Colossal batting performances by Dean Elgar and Qaasim Adams helped the Titans take a step closer towards the Sunfoil Series title thanks to a battling draw against the Highveld Lions in their high-profile clash in Centurion on Sunday. Proteas opener Elgar struck a monumental 173 (386 balls, 23 fours, three sixes) after batting for over nine hours with his side eventually finishing on 385/6. Adams too played his part and was there at the end on 71 not out (190 balls, 10 fours) – himself batting for over four hours having arrived at the crease with defeat looking the likeliest of outcomes at SuperSport Park.
The top-of-the-table Titans had started out the day on 156/1 in their follow on innings and still needing another 223 to make the Lions bat again. But they lost four wickets in the first session on Sunday as Grant Mokoena (27), Theunis De Bruyn (7), Mangaliso Mosehle (0) and Henry Davids (0) fell to the pace of Pumelela Matshikwe. They were precariously placed at that stage on 216/5, but a 110-run sixth-wicket stand between Elgar and Adams rescued them.
Not only did the pair keep hold of their wickets, but more importantly, they ate up time as their stand lasted more than 40 overs. Matshikwe, who took all six wickets to fall for figures of 6/58 in 31 overs, eventually dismissed Elgar with more than 20 overs to play, but Adams found an unlikely batting ally in fast bowler Marchant De Lange. The Proteas paceman batted for over 20 overs with Adams to make 23 not out as the game ended in a draw.
The Lions earned 10.56 points for their efforts to leapfrog the Knights into second place, while the Titans gained 5.6 points. The Pretoria-based side will take a 12.62-point lead heading into the final round of games next week.