Cape Town - A record total paved the way for the Titans to consolidate their position at the top of the T20 Challenge table thanks to a 46-run bonus point win over the Highveld Lions at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
The defending champions blasted 230/5 after losing the toss and being asked to bat first – the highest score batting first in South African franchise cricket history, surpassing the previous best of 225/6 made by the Eagles against the Lions in Potchefstroom in 2004/05.
They then restricted the visitors to 184/7 to win with a bonus point and hold the lead heading into the final two match days.
Apart from Jonathan Vandiar’s top-score of 67 (41 balls, 6 fours, 3 sixes), the rest of the home side’s contributions were via useful cameos.
Skipper Albie Morkel struck 32, while David Wiese clubbed 17 off 5 balls at the death to help the home side comfortably beat their previous best T20 score of 222/4 against the Cape Cobras in 2010/11.
Aaron Phangiso picked up 2/28, but the Lions captain may have been ruing his decision to bowl first in the Jukskei derby.
The chase started well enough for the visitors, who reached 50 in only 4.3 overs, but they then lost key man Rassie van der Dussen (45).
Proteas star Temba Bavuma was the next best scorer with 33, but the scoreboard pressure proved too much for the Johannesburg-based team.
They were also not helped by an excellent four overs of Wiese’s seam, which saw the bowler take 1/21, while the pick of the bowlers in terms of wicket was Malusi Siboto with his 3/27 in two overs.
In the end, the Titans secured a comfortable win to extend their lead to two points over the Warriors, who do have a game in hand.
The Lions, on the other hand, dropped to fourth, a point behind the Cape Cobras with both teams having two games to play.