Cape Town - The Highveld Lions are the 2018/19 4-Day Domestic Series champions after Nandre Burger and Malusi Siboto shared seven wickets to help them claim a dramatic 84-run win over the Warriors deep on the last day of their season finale in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
With the log-leading Cape Cobras having concluded their round 10 fixture earlier in the day – a drawn match with the Dolphins in Pietermaritzburg – only victory was an option for Enoch Nkwe’s side.
And they defied the odds to do exactly that and overhaul the Cape Town side, who had led the standings for almost the entire season.
They did it against one of the most impressive teams too in the Warriors, a team that were also in contention for the title until inclement weather dropped them out of the race in round nine.
The Eastern Cape franchise began day four at Senwes Park with the Lions declaring overnight on 292 for nine, meaning they had a target of 330 to get on what was effectively a full day of cricket in the North West, although rain did briefly intervene.
The visitors suffered a double blow early on after Siboto (3/40) dismissed openers Eddie Moore (3) and Matthew Breetzke (9) with only 18 on the board.
He then got Lesiba Ngoepe (14) to leave the away side on 61 for three, and they managed to avoid any further loss until lunch thanks to an 81-run fourth-wicket stand between Sinethemba Qeshile (39) and Yaseen Vallie either side of the break.
Burger (4/72) then began his work by removing both set men, the latter for an innings top-score of 74 (125 balls, 7 fours) that left the Warriors on 155 for five.
Rain intervened at that point meaning that five overs were lost, but upon the resumption, Nono Pongolo (2/36) got Sisanda Magala (13) and Glenton Stuurman (4) either side of Burger dismissing Marco Marais (22) and then Basheer Walters (22).
Thomas Kaber did his best to save the game with an unbeaten 23 off 96 balls, but when Wihan Lubbe bowled cleaned up Sithembile Langa for eight with his third delivery, the Lions were champions.