The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras completed a crushing victory over the Nashua Titans at Sahara Willowmoore Park on Saturday, hammering the hosts by nine wickets inside three days.
The visitors had to knock off a slender 17 runs just after lunch on the third day in order to clinch the victory and, despite Alistair Gray having to retire hurt after facing just one ball and Andrew Puttick falling cheaply, Stiaan van Zyl and Justin Ontong saw their side to victory, keeping their title hopes alive.
Some fine bowling from Johann Louw (3-53), Beuran Hendricks (3-42) and Justin Kemp (3-27) saw the hosts collapse to 195 all out with only Francois le Clus 50 (81 balls) and Farhaan Behardien 48.
(148 balls) managing significant contributions for the defending champions in their second innings.
The Nashua Titans resumed the third day on 65-2, still 114 runs adrift and, while le Clus was looking steady, he was soon sent on his way, caught in front of his stumps for 50 by Louw. Graeme van Buuren lasted just three balls before he too was sent back to the hut with a zero next to his name as Kemp picked up his first wicket of the innings.
Behardien and Mangaliso Mosehle then combined for a gritty 49-run partnership, but Kemp managed to get the breakthrough for the visitors, trapping Mosehle leg before.
By the lunch break on day three, the Nashua Titans were struggling on 147-5 with Behardien and Roelof van der Merwe having a mountain to climb if the defending champions were to salvage any sort of pride from the match.
The Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras had other plans, though, and Behardien was dismissed shortly after the break, caught by Charl Langeveldt off Hendricks' bowling. Shaun von Berg, who scored a feisty 47 in the first innings, failed to emulate his heroics and was out for two.
CJ de Villiers lasted just 35 balls before he too was sent back to the hut and the collapse continued with JP de Villiers out for a duck in the very next over.
Rowan Richards hit a four and six, before he had to go and Roelof van der Merwe was stranded on an unbeaten 26 off 62 balls at the other end.
NASHUA TITANS: Heino Khun, Francois le Clus, CJ de Villiers, Graeme van Buuren, Henry Davids (captain), Roelof van der Merwe, Farhaan Behardien, Mangaliso Mosehle (wicketkeeper), JP de Villiers, Rowan Richards, Shaun von Berg
NASHUA MOBILE CAPE COBRAS: Alistair Gray, Andrew Puttick, Stiaan van Zyl, Justin Ontong (captain), Yaseen Vallie, Dane Vilas (wicketkeeper), Justin Kemp, Johann Louw, Dane Piedt, Charl Langeveldt, Beuran Hendricks