1 Day Cup
Roelof leads Titans to final
Roelof van der Merwe (Gallo Images)
Wanderers - Roelof van der Merwe produced a match-changing performance for the second time in a row to lead the Nashua Titans into the MTN40 final.
The Titans will now play the winners of the second semi-final between the Nashua Dolphins and the Chevrolet Knights in the final at SuperSport Park next Friday.
Van der Merwe had turned the first leg against the bizhub Highveld Lions on its head when he smashed 93 off 51 balls to enable the Titans to chase down a winning target of 300 with 8 balls to spare.
Then in the second semi-final he produced a remarkable spell of 3/11 in 5 overs to stop the Lions in their track as they attempted a target of 288. He went on to finish with 5/41, the second five-wicket haul of his List A career.
The Lions had seemed well on track for victory when Alviro Petersen and Jonathan Vandiar put on 116 for the first wicket off 77 balls. When Van der Merwe dismissed Vandiar (66 off 41 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes) and Richard Cameron with successive balls the Lions only needed to score a run a ball to get home.
But Jacques Rudolph immediately took the second power play and the Lions only managed a disastrous 12/2 in this five-over spell, the two wickets to go down being the key ones of Neil McKenzie and Zander de Bruyn who between them only managed to score 4 runs off 22 balls.
The Lions were not down and out as Thami Tsolekile (50 off 49 balls with 3 fours and a six) and Jean Symes (72 off 52 balls with 5 fours and 3 sixes) added 94 in 14 overs for the sixth wicket but in the end there was just too much to be accomplished.
For the second match in a row Vandiar batted quite brilliantly but had to settle for a loser’s spot.
Van der Merwe wasn’t the only hero for the Titans. Rudolph himself made 79 off 54 balls (11 fours and 2 sixes) and Henry Davids 67 off 57 balls (8 fours and 2 sixes). Davids also made a direct hit run out, took a catch and bowled 6 overs for 25 runs for a fine all-round performance.
Not least in the final context was Mangaliso Mosehle who scored an unbeaten 20 off 4 balls (3 sixes) to give the Titans innings that extra momentum at the death.