Johannesburg - Dwaine Pretorius produced a stunning batting assault to lead the Highveld Lions to a seven-wicket win over the Titans in their T20 match at the Wanderers on Wednesday.
Pretorius hammered his way to 42 off just 20 balls, with three fours and four sixes, as the Lions romped to 150 for three with seven balls of their innings remaining after the Titans had posted 148 for seven.
The Lions’ innings was given a solid start thanks to an opening stand of 38 between Gulam Bodi (17) and Quinton de Kock.
Bodi was the first man to go, bowled by seamer Ethy Mbhalati while De Kock continued his good form in compiling 47 off 40 deliveries before he was also bowled by Mbhalati.
Neil McKenzie (32 not out) proved to be the perfect foil for Pretorius as the pair added a rapid 65 runs for the third wicket off just 5.3 overs to make sure of the Lions victory.
Pretorius was dismissed by Mbhalati in what proved to be the last over of the match but it was not enough to prevent the Lions claiming their second consecutive win of the season.
Sohail Tanvir had earlier turned in a wonderful display of fast bowling as the Lions restricted the Titans to a below-par total. Pakistani Tanvir picked up two for 21 off four overs and his clever mix of seam-up and slower deliveries proved to be the perfect approach on a pitch providing variable bounce after the Lions had won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Left-arm seamer Tanvir was well supported by left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso (2-24) and fast bowler Hardus Viljoen (2-31).
Henry Davids (36) and Farhaan Behardien, with 36 off 28 balls, provided the bulk of the runs for the defending champion Titans while David Wiese struck a few lusty blows towards the end of the innings to end on 28 not out.
The Titans were in early trouble as they slipped to 16 for two with Jacques Rudolph (13) and Mangaliso Mosehle (0) the men to depart as Tanvir served up an opening spell of 1-2 off two overs. Davids and Martin van Jaarsveld (13) combined for a third-wicket stand of 33 before Van Jaarsveld was caught at mid-on off a Viljoen delivery.
Phangiso then struck twice in one over when he bowled Davids and trapped Albie Morkel (3) leg-before with a delivery which kept very low.
The dangerous Behardien was the next man to depart, caught behind by 'keeper De Kock off the bowling of Viljoen before Wiese struck two late sixes to provide the Titans with a reasonable total.
Highveld Lions: Quinton de Kock, Gulam Bodi, Temba Bavuma, Neil McKenzie, Jean Symes, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Sohail Tanvir, Hardus Viljoen, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir.
Titans: Jacques Rudolph, Henry Davids, Martin van Jaarsveld, Farhaan Behardien, Mangaliso Mosehle, Albie Morkel, Roelof van der Merwe, David Wiese, Eden Links, Marchant de Lange, Ethy Mbhalati.