Cape Town - Temba Bavuma's career-best century helped the Highveld Lions complete their highest successful One-Day Cup chase
ever as they secured a much-needed eight-wicket win over the Titans in
their Jukskei derby in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.
There was also a highest List A score from Dean Elgar for
the visitors, but that was upstaged by his Proteas team-mate with
the hosts chasing down 310 with 18 deliveries to spare.
Right-hander Bavuma ended unbeaten on 117 (108 balls, 14
fours), which beat his 113 for South Africa against Ireland at Benoni in
2016/17, with Reeza Hendricks striking 95 (90 balls, 12 fours, 1 six) in what
was a masterful chase at Senwes Park.
It all came after the visitors appeared to have batted
themselves into a winning position thanks to Dean Elgar's lifetime best of 137,
which saw him plunder six sixes and 10 fours in a 121-ball exhibition.
Chris Morris did his best to entertain the fans of the North
West with 51 not out from only 20 deliveries, a knock that included five
maximums and three fours, while Heinrich Klaasen notched up a more measured 82
off 105 balls (8 fours, 1 six).
But that was not enough as the Lions went on to comfortably
secure a first win after five matches of the campaign.
In fact, the Lions were on top for large parts of the game.
They began with a bang after winning the toss, bowling first
and then reducing their old rivals to 38 for four in 11 overs.
Jonathan Vandiar (0), Tony de Zorzi (1), Theunis de Bruyn
(11) and Heino Kuhn (0) all fell cheaply, before a record 202-run fifth wicket
stand between Elgar and Klaasen gave them a lifeline.
Their stand, which surpassed the 195 between Elgar and Albie
Morkel for the Titans against the Cape Cobras at Cape Town
in 2014/15, took them to 240 for four with the former completing his sixth
one-day ton with a score that beat his previous best of 131 unbeaten for
Somerset against Sussex at Hove in 2017.
After three quick wickets, Morris provided a sensational
final flourish to take the away side to 309 for seven.
However, the target was made to look vastly under par by the
Hendricks and Kagiso Rapulana (38) put on 96 for the opening
wicket, before 89 followed by the former and captain Bavuma, who went on to
complete his maiden franchise ton and third overall.
The Titans were never given a chance even after Hendricks
went. Rassie van der Dussen's 46 not out provided the support needed for the skipper
to help the Lions win with three overs to spare.