Cape Town - A match-defining fourth-wicket partnership of 132 between Rudi Second
and Leus du Plooy enabled the Knights to post a 22-run victory over
the Titans in their One-Day Cup match at
Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday.
The home side, who won the toss and elected to field, bowled out the men
from the Free State for 249 in their shortened innings (48 overs).
But their aspirations to chase down the total and keep them in touch
with the chart-topping Hollywoodbets Dolphins suffered an early setback,
with Shadley van Schalkwyk striking three times within the first 10
Jonathan Vandiar was caught behind by Rudi Second, Aiden Markram was
clean bowled and Henry Davids was caught by Dillon du Preez patrolling
the boundary ropes.
And with the scoreboard showing 46 for three, the 250 they needed for victory looked a long way away.
Heino Kuhn tried to put the bowlers under pressure, striking a
run-a-ball 32, but he perished in the 21st over going for one big hit
too many and was caught by Grant Mokoena off the bowling of Lwandiswa
Two overs later it was all going pear-shaped as Rivaldo Moonsamy (31) trekked back to the dressing room.
The Titans’ captain, Albie Morkel, and David Wiese instigated a recovery
of sorts with a fifth-wicket stand of 66, but just when cool heads were
needed Morkel (42) was unnecessarily run out going for a non-existent
The dismissal of Morkel was the beginning of the end, as the Titans lost their last five wickets for 43 runs.
Van Schalkwyk (3-52) ripped the heart out of the top order and Mbulelo Budaza mopped up the tail taking 4-43.
Earlier, the partnership between Second and Du Plooy was the crux the VKB Knights’ total.
But as has been the case in previous outings, the visitor’s top-order
failed to come to grips with swinging deliveries, losing the wickets of
Diego Rosier, Mokoena and Pite van Biljon within the first nine overs.
Rosier departed reluctantly after being adjudged lbw without offering a
shot to David Wiese, Mokoena failed to read an off-cutter from Lungi
Ngidi edging a catch to Moonsamy and Junior Dala claimed the wicket of
Van Biljon, the Knights’ veteran holing out to Morkel at mid-off.
Three down with only 47 runs on the scoreboard.
A determined alliance, however, between Second and Du Plooy, permitted a stay of execution.
Whatever demons - real or imagined - that may have been in the pitch,
had obviously departed as Second went to his 23rd List A 50 off 70 balls
and Du Plooy fairly raced to his fifth, off 56 deliveries, their
endeavour proving that a batsman who was prepared to apply himself,
received due reward.
In an attempt to dislodge the pair, Morkel engaged the services of eight
bowlers, his perseverance with the ploy eventually bore fruit, both
batsmen dismissed within seven balls of each other.
Second (75, off 101-balls, 6x4) was deceived by the wiles of Markram and Du Plooy was needlessly run out.
The 22-year-old struck three fours and two maximums in his 82-ball 72.
The last five batsmen failed to build on the platform and capitulated for 56 runs.
The news had filtered through that the Dolphins had lost to the
Warriors, the Cobras had lost to the Highveld Lions and
with the Titans losing the status quo remains as before.