Aiden Markram scored his second century of the match to haul the Titans back into the game, but with a lead of 193 and just three wickets in hand, they will have little space for error if they are to beat the Warriors on the final day of their 4-Day Domestic Series match in Centurion.
The Warriors, who took a first-innings lead of 72 thanks to Sinethemba Qeshile’s feisty 97, were completely in charge until late in the day on Wednesday as they then reduced the Titans to 138 for five in their second innings.
But Markram, who scored 149 of the Titans’ first 272 runs in the first innings, remained at the crease and he strode to another majestic century on Wednesday, finishing with 121 off 193 balls, sending his chances of a Proteas Test recall soaring.
Rivaldo Moonsamy fought hard for his 43 as he and Markram added a crucial 95 for the sixth wicket as the Titans clawed their way back into the game.
Part-time left-arm spinner Lesiba Ngoepe claimed both their wickets to end the day with three for 25 and it was also an excellent day for tall left-arm paceman Marco Jansen, who caused the early damage with three for 48, as well as scoring 24 as the Warriors began the day with a key seventh-wicket stand of 40, along with Qeshile.
The match at the Wanderers, meanwhile, was also deliciously in the balance thanks to an inspired unbeaten opening stand of 166 between Josh Richards (82*) and Dominic Hendricks (80*) that left the Imperial Lions needing 168 more runs, with all 10 wickets in hand, to beat the Knights.
It was a great day for the Lions as they gave themselves a tough but gettable target of 334 by claiming the last nine Knights wickets for just 124 runs. That target is now within sight.
Resuming on 111 for one, the Knights were bowled out for 235 as all-rounders Delano Potgieter (4-41) and Wiaan Mulder (3-48) made inroads after Tladi Bokako (2-35) had set the ball rolling by removing Jonathan Vandiar for 68.
Elsewhere, bad weather took a large chunk out of the game between the Dolphins and the Cape Cobras in Durban, with the home side gong into the final day with a lead of 132 and all 10 wickets in hand.
Dolphins openers Sarel Erwee and Senuran Muthusamy (21*) took them to 55 without loss after they had bowled out the Cobras for 312 for a first-innings lead of 77.
There were solid contributions down the Cobras batting order, but not the big score they required with Zubayr Hamza (46) and Tony de Zorzi (58) the leading scorers.
Paceman Lifa Ntanzi made some key strikes as he took three for 51, and left-arm spinner Muthusamy continued his fine all-round game with four for 58.