Centurion - Nashua Titans stalwarts Roelof van der Merwe and Farhaan Berhardien stole the show from Albie Morkel as they powered their side to a six wicket victory over the Gestetner Diamond Eagles at Supersport Centurion with seven balls to spare on Friday.
Van der Merwe closed out the match with two massive sixes off Ryan Mclaren, while Berhardien earlier snuffed out the Eagles hopes with a 20-ball 35 – which included three massive consecutive sixes off Ryan Baily as the Titans chased down the small total with ease.
Set 154 to win, the Titans got off to an excellent start, as Gulam Bodi and Blake Snijman putting on 75 in under 10 overs for the first wicket.
Out of sorts Morkel
Bodi made 29 off 28 while Snijman eventually departed for 54 off 38 balls as the home side chased down the relatively small total with ease.
After the openers were gone, Berhardien stepped up, being more aggressive than a strangely out of sorts Morkel, who played second fiddle throughout. Morkel received a lifeline, caught by Aubrey Swanepoel off the long off boundary, only to have replays show that the ball didn’t carry.
The very next ball saw the end of Berhardien, who tried his luck once too often and was caught by Ryan Mclaren off Dillon du Preez’ bowling.
It mattered not as Morkel kept his composure and young Van der Merwe smashed his second and third balls at the crease for the winning runs.
The Titans started at an disadvantage, having lost Martin van Jaarsveld to a dislocated shoulder after he dived for a ball in the field.
Earlier the Eagles scored 153 for 6 after being sent in to bat.
The visitors started off well, with Morné van Wyk smashing Ethy Mbhalati for 12 in his first over. But Mbhalati would have the last laugh, drawing one in that Van Wyk chopped onto his stumps in the next over.
Adrian McLaren and Dean Elgar set the platform for a decent innings, putting together a partnership of 62 in just 53 balls before Mclaren moved across his wickets and was caught leg before by Morkel.
Four runs later it was Ryan Baily, who left for a duck thanks to a superb reflex catch by Faf du Plessis off his own bowling.
Boeta Dippenaar put together a quickfire 25 in just 17 balls, including a massive six in a partnership of 36 with Elgar, before he skied it to be caught by Joubert off Morkel’s bowling.
Elgar departed shortly afterwards for a well deserved 47 when he was caught in the deep by Berhardien.
From there the Eagles struggled to go past 150, before CJ de Villiers smashed a six off the last ball of the innings to take the score past the mark.