T20 Domestic Cup

Titans surge to the top

2013-03-26 21:58
Henry Davids (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Morné Morkel bowled brilliantly and took four wickets as the Titans claimed an emphatic eight-wicket victory over the Knights in Bloemfontein on Tuesday to move to the top of the Ram Slam T20 cricket table.

Chasing 133 to win, the Titans coasted home for the loss of just two wickets, with four balls in hand.

Although the Titans lost the early wicket of Henry Davids, caught by Shadley van Schalkwyk off Ryan McLaren for four, they never appeared to be in any danger.

Full scorecard

Heino Kuhn, back in the team at the expense of Jacques Rudolph, and Roelof van der Merwe put on 35 for the second wicket before veteran Nicky Boje had Kuhn caught behind by Gihahn Cloete for 27, scored at a run a ball.

Van der Merwe was joined by the experienced New Zealander, Scott Styris, and together they took their team home, barely raising a sweat.

They shared a stand of 87 runs, with Styris not out on 57 off 55 deliveries and Van der Merwe not out on 45 off 49.

Earlier, the Knights struggled to a meagre total of 132 for seven.

Morkel struck early with wickets off two successive balls - at the end of his first over and the start of his second - as he sent first Michael Erlank and then Rilee Rossouw back to the hut with the score on seven.

The Knights, who needed to win to qualify for the play-offs, appeared to succumb to their nerves, and played tentatively, with their first 50 coming off 65 balls.

They only needed 36 for their second, but the damage had been done.

Dean Elgar and Pite van Biljon put on 45 for the third wicket and Obus Pienaar and Ryan McLaren 35 for the fifth, but the wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and they were just not able to make enough runs to put the visitors under pressure.

Pienaar, who had been looking threatening, was run out by David Wiese for 31 after an awful mix-up which saw both batsmen at the same end, and Morkel got rid of danger man McLaren and Cloete. Morkel ended with figures of four for 19.

The Titans, who now top the log with 26 points, one ahead of the Highveld Lions, will wait anxiously for the outcome of the match between the Lions and the Dolphins at the Wanderers on Thursday to see whether they qualify for a home final.


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