Johannesburg - Dutch international Dirk Nannes made an impressive debut for the Lions in their T20 Challenge match in Centurion on Friday, setting the foundation for their victory over the Titans by seven wickets.
Bowling out the Titans cheaply, the Lions achieved their 122-run target comfortably with more than seven overs to spare.
Quinton de Kock knocked off an unbeaten 72 runs, off 36 balls (7x4, 5x6) to give the Lions an early finish.
His half-century came off 27 balls and he shared a 68 run stand with opening bat Jonathan Vandiar (29), who was caught behind, by Heino Kuhn, off David Wiese.
De Kock smashed a four to end the innings on 124 for three in 12.3 overs.
Winning the toss and bowling first, the Lions had the Titans in trouble at 1-1 and then 11-2 after Nannes struck once in each of his first two overs, conceding just three runs.
The fast bowler’s first victim was Henry Davids, who chopped on to Nannes' fifth delivery in South African T20 cricket, and then he splayed the stumps of Heino Kuhn (6) in his next over.
Some poor fielding ruined his excellent figures in his third over, when a run-out opportunity was missed with no one backing up, and the ball raced away for four.
There was no relief for the Titans’ batmen at the other end as Chris Morris matched his colleague wicket for wicket in his first two overs.
When Morris came back to bowl his fourth and final over, he bagged the wicket of Wiese (17) finishing with the excellent figures of 3-18, which, on any other night, would have earned him the bowling award.
While none of the batsmen really got going, Farhaan Behardien managed 22 runs before he was caught behind and he shared a 43-run stand with Roelof van der Merwe.
Van der Merwe (21), for his part, played a stunning shot off Dwaine Pretorius which went over the keeper’s head to bring up his 1000th T20 run but he skied the next one so high that the fielder -- who else but Nannes -- had to wait patiently underneath it, before it was eventually pouched.
Nannes was not done yet. He came back to bowl the final over of the match but it took only one ball to remove CJ de Villiers (18) and end the Titans’ innings -- all out for the meagre total of 121.
Nannes proved his worth as an overseas player for the Lions, returning figures of 3-12.
He made an immediate impact for the Lions, who have now won four out of their five games, and they still have Pakistan international Sohail Tanvir, recently arrived from the Bangladesh Premier League, in reserve.