The Titans posted the highest score in South African T20 history as they thrashed the Lions by 46 runs in Centurion on Wednesday night.
Their 230-5 broke an 11-year record that the Eagles, now the Knights, have boasted up until now. Their 225-6 was also against the Lions, in Potchefstroom in April 2005.
It’s going to take quite some stopping to prevent the Titans from securing back-to-back domestic T20 titles. They’ve now won six of their nine games and have a two-point lead over the Warriors. The victory secured at least a place in the qualifier, but with AB de Villiers expected to return to the side for their final group game, they will only get stronger as they look to wrap up top spot.
The highest score was ‘only’ 67 as the top-order all came to the party with 13 sixes between them. Jonathan Vandiar set the tone with three sixes and six fours for that 67, after a 70-run stand with Aiden Markram (27).
Markram was the only player with a strike rate under 160, with a phenomenal 92 runs scored off the last six overs. Heino Kuhn (29 off 11) and skipper Albie Morkel 32 off 17 ensured the good start was maintained in the middle overs, before Farhaan Behardien (19 off 9) and David Wiese (17 off 5) provided the finishing touch. Fourteen runs were needed off the final over to break the record, and consecutive sixes from Wiese ensured the record was comfortably beaten.
Faced with the almighty task of breaking the record for the highest successful run chase in domestic T20 history and third-highest of all time, Rassie van der Dussen continued his excellent run of form to ensure they were in with a chance. The 53-run stand between him and Reeza Hendricks was done in just 28 balls, with Van der Dussen contributing 45 of those off 18 balls.
Junior Dala bowled the danger man, which took the sting out of the Lions’ assault as Hendricks failed to build on the quick start. Malusi Siboto was largely to thank for pegging the side back with three wickets in just nine balls, seeing off Hendricks (24), Mangaliso Mosehle (11) and Dwaine Pretorius (12).
In the end there was simply too much to do as the Lions fell 46 runs short. It was their fourth defeat of the campaign, but they do remain in the hunt for a qualifying spot, trailing the third-placed Cobras by one point.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images