MiWay T20 Challenge
Titans knock Cobras out
Heino Kuhn and Roelof van der Merwe (Gallo Images)
Centurion - The Titans retained third position in the T20 Challenge standings, guaranteeing them a berth in the one-off semi-final after beating the Cobras by six wickets in Centurion on Sunday.
Set a modest target of 157, the Titans went about their run chase with determination, winning the match with nine balls to spare.
Henry Davids and Heino Kuhn set the foundation, putting on 48 runs off 39 deliveries for the opening partnership.
Davids then decided to run down the track to leg-spinner Alistair Gray but, after a swing and a miss, he was bowled for 24.
Gray then changed roles as the catcher when Kuhn, who made 25, skied a delivery from Dane Piedt shortly afterwards.
The innings nearly went pear-shaped when Roelof van der Merwe (18) suffered the embarrassing fate of being caught off his visor, but Faf du Plessis and Martin van Jaarsveld repaired the damage.
They added 48 runs for the fourth wicket before Van Jaarsveld (24) was stumped by Dane Vilas.
Du Plessis was not out on 38 and Farhaan Behardien hit a massive six to finish off the match and remain unbeaten on 12.
Alistair Gray took 2/33 and Brad Hogg bowled a tidy four overs, conceding 16 runs.
Off-spinner Van der Merwe had caused a stutter in the Cobras’ innings, with two wickets from three deliveries in the 14th over.
The leading run-scorer in the competition, Stiaan Van Zyl, was his first victim, after the opening batsman bottom-edged onto his stumps for 33.
Two balls later, Justin Ontong was caught behind by Heino Kuhn and walked back to the changeroom without scoring.
Dane Vilas top-scored for the Cobras with his unbeaten 48 and Richard Levi, who opened with Van Zyl, hammered a quick 25 runs, off 13 balls.
Albie Morkel made the initial breakthrough when Levi struck the ball straight to Farhaan Behardien at cover.
Morkel also bagged the wicket of Owais Shah (12) and returned figures of 2/37.
Mohammed Vallie, who scored six runs, replaced Shah at the crease but chopped on to his stumps, giving Alfonso Thomas his first wicket.
Thomas also caught and bowled Cobras captain Justin Kemp just when the all-rounder was starting to look dangerous.
The Cobras finished on 156/6 and lost their chance to qualify for a semi-final berth.
The Titans need a bonus-point victory in their last fixture, against the Warriors on Wednesday, to ensure a home semi-final against the Knights next Sunday.