Cape Town - Titans coach Mark Boucher was happy that his team were back to their usual best after they emphatically clinched a fourth One-Day Cup title in six years on Sunday.
A sublime century by Aiden
Markram provided the foundation for a 135-run victory over the Dolphins in Centurion.
The hosts batted first and amassed a record score of 356 for
five - the highest total batting first in any day game at SuperSport Park -
with the visitors, who were bidding to defend a title they jointly held with
the Warriors from last season, dismissed for 221 in reply.
It was the perfect way for the Titans to bounce back after a
poor 4-Day Domestic Series campaign where they ended last.
"We've played in two competitions now and won one trophy,"
Boucher reflected. "We were very disappointing in the four-day competition,
which I've spoken about.
"We had quite a number of disruptions, without making any
excuses, that we will certainly need to rectify next season. But we've now got
the momentum back with us.
"We got a trophy, so the pressure is off a bit, and
hopefully we can take this through to the rest of the campaign."
The Titans had already won the round-robin stage of the
competition and were the best team overall.
In the final, they brushed aside a poor semi-final batting
display to pile on a massive score thanks to Markram's seventh List A century
as well as 50s from Theunis de Bruyn and Dean Elgar.
Dale Steyn then grabbed three for 36 to help bowl out the
KwaZulu-Natal side with over 10 overs to spare.
"We lost the toss at the start and were put into bat, we
always knew it was going to be slow, but we felt that if we batted sensibly and
didn't lose too many wickets up front we would have a chance of putting a bit
of pressure on their bowlers towards the back end of the innings," Boucher
"Aiden and Dean came in and played unbelievable knocks and
that for me was the big change in the game. It was always going to be tough for
them chasing over 350 and it told. So, all in all, it was a great performance
from our guys."
Stand-in captain Elgar, meanwhile, was thoroughly impressed
by the display of his team.
"It's an awesome effort from everyone.
Today was a team effort, but it's been a squad effort throughout. So, it's an
awesome feeling to know that we've won a trophy," he said.
Markram was also delighted by the way the Titans had played,
calling it a complete team effort in the final.
"It was a proper team effort,
everyone played their role, and I'm glad it all came together in the final,
which was great," he stated.
The 24-year-old only played five matches in the competition,
but still ended as the top run-scorer with an aggregate of 542 runs at a
magnificent average of 108.40. Among the bowlers, Junior Dala was the runaway
leading wicket-taker with 27 strikes from 11 matches.
However, it was Markram who really stood out. Dropped from
the Proteas one-day set-up, he responded with scores of 169, 139
and 85 to force his way back in the mix, and then completed his tournament with
22 and 127.
"It's been a case of lots of things happening
selection-wise, which is completely natural because look it's a World Cup year
and everyone is talking about selection and everyone wants to make the team, so
it got to a stage where I've really tried to forget about selection and invest
all my energy into the Titans side," he concluded.
"Once I've done that, it's allowed me to stay
focussed on the job here and I'm pleased how it all turned out here."