T20 Domestic Cup
Titans book spot in T20 final
Alfonso Thomas (Gallo Images)
East London - The Titans booked their place in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge final, and the lucrative Champions League tournament, with a thrilling four-wicket win over the Warriors in their semi-final playoff here on Wednesday evening.
Seam bowler Alfonso Thomas paved the way with a career-best haul before the Titans' experienced batting line-up produced some solid knocks to set up a trophy clash against the Highveld Lions at the Wanderers on Sunday.
Chasing 128 runs for victory, the Titans were in early trouble after Lundi Mbane removed Heino Kuhn and former Proteas opener Herschelle Gibbs, who was drafted into the Gauteng side for the playoff fixture, to leave the visitors reeling to 21 for two in the fifth over.
Skipper Henry Davids and veteran international AB de Villiers combined in a 26-run stand for the third wicket to stabilise the innings before Davids was dismissed by Samit Patel for 23.
De Villiers, who hit 31, went on to share 47 runs for the fourth wicket with Farhaan Behardien as the duo built on the visiting side's momentum.
Behardien remained unbeaten, after a quickfire 41-run contribution off 26 deliveries, to carry them into the final with one ball to spare.
Earlier, pacemen Thomas and Morne Morkel kept pressure on the Warriors' batsmen throughout the first innings as the home side reached 127 for nine after their 20 overs.
Thomas struck early to dismiss Christiaan Jonker and Colin Ingram, but Warriors captain Davy Jacobs managed to lead a recovery effort.
Jacobs, who opened with Jonker, and all-rounder Adrian McLaren seemed to be building momentum towards the end of the innings, but Morkel removed both of them in the 17th over to halt the charge.
The skipper made 51 runs off 43 balls to anchor the innings, while McLaren was next best with a 20-run contribution.
Thomas, who removed Craig Thyssen, Simon Harmer and Rusty Theron in the last over of the innings, took a career best five for 24, while Morkel bagged three for 32.
Davy Jacobs (captain), Christiaan Jonker, Colin Ingram, Craig Thyssen, Samit Patel, Adrian McLaren, Wayne Parnell, Simon Harmer, Ayabulela Gqamane, Rusty Theron, Lundi Mbane.
Henry Davids (captain), Heino Kuhn, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, David Wiese, Roelof van der Merwe, Alfonso Thomas, Eden Links, Morne Morkel.