Pretoria - Thrilling centuries by Aiden Markram and Henry Davids laid the foundation for the Titans to be crowned One Day Cup champions after they crushed the Warriors by 236 runs in the franchise season finale at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.
Markram clubbed 161 (123 balls, 11 fours, 7 sixes) and Davids smashed 114 (98 balls, 13 fours, 4 sixes) as the pair helped the hosts pile up 425/5 – the highest total in South African franchise cricket history.
There were further meaningful contributions from Heinrich Klaasen, a late inclusion in the team after AB de Villiers missed out due to a back injury, with the wicketkeeper making 60 (50 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes), while Chris Morris plundered six sixes in an unbeaten 47 from a mere 12 deliveries.
It meant the Titans bettered the record they set twice this season after breaching the 400-mark for the third time.
Faced with an enormous target, the Warriors wilted under pressure and succumbed to 189 all out in 31 overs to hand the home side a domestic limited overs double after they beat the same opponents in the T20 Challenge final in December.
Tabraiz Shamsi was the pick of the bowlers with 3/31, but victory was undoubtedly set up by Markram and Davids, who were majestic from the start.
After the Titans won the toss and batted, the pair put on a record 212 for the opening wicket. They were relentless on the bowlers, with no one spared in what was the highest partnership ever for any wicket against their final opposition.
Even after the stand was broken, Klaasen arrived and put on 133 for the second wicket, while Morris’s late burst saw a scarcely believable 52 added in the final 2.2 overs.
For the Warriors to challenge they needed senior men like captain Jon-Jon Smuts (13) and Colin Ingram (1) to fire, but unfortunately both were back in the pavilion inside five overs as Lungi Ngidi (2/38) struck a critical double blow.
The task became nearly impossible one from there. Jerry Nqolo tried his best with a top-score of 40, with 30s also for Yaseen Vallie (35) and Colin Ackermann (39).
But two wickets each from Junior Dala (2/35) and Chris Morris (2/41) aided by Shami’s treble sunk the Warriors in one-sided fashion – by the second-biggest winning margin ever.